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Responding to child-to-parent violence: the experiences of family support group providers.

Galvani, SA (2016) Responding to child-to-parent violence: the experiences of family support group providers. Journal of Substance Use. ISSN 1465-9891

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Abstract

Support groups for families negatively affected by a relative's substance use provide a vital community service for people who otherwise have little formal or informal support. While global mutual aid networks exist, including organisations such as Al-Anon and SMART recovery, many smaller independent support groups in the UK are marginalised and minimally funded. Consequently, they do not have the access to resources of the larger networks to advance their knowledge and skills. This small UK study set out to explore the experiences of people who ran such groups. In particular, it focussed on how they identified and responded to domestic abuse and what their training and resource needs were. Twelve semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with family support group providers around the UK. Despite a focus on domestic abuse, what emerged from the interviews was a high level of abuse of parents from intoxicated children of all ages. The findings suggest the need for greater support for family support group providers who require information on child-to-parent violence, its relationship to substance use, and how to overcome barriers to disclosure.

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