Violence causes concern for parents in Scotland
Thursday 24 March 2011
Violence causes concern for parents in Scotland, new statistics from ParentLine Scotland reveal today.
Fifteen per cent of callers to the helpline between June 2010 and March 2011 expressed concerns about violence. 350 calls were received about violent behaviour and of these nearly 200 were from parents concerned about their child’s behaviour.
In some instances parents revealed their children had displayed aggressive behaviour towards them. One told a ParentLine Scotland call-taker:
“It’s not the first time he has hit me, I don’t know where to turn. I don’t want to involve the police as he is my son and I love him.”
60 callers mentioned that another significant concern was the impact on children who are, or have in the past, witnessed domestic abuse. Parents were worried that the violence their children witnessed in the home was related to their aggressive behaviour.
Violence in the community was also an issue for parents. Another 60 parents called to talk to call-takers about the safety of their children in the community. One caller said: “This morning, I found a knife in his bag. When I confronted him about it, he said that a gang was ‘after him’ and he needed it for protection. I am really concerned for his safety.”
Another caller said: “My daughter was assaulted last week and she hasn’t left the house since. She’s worried that it will happen again.”
The findings follow the first eight months of a joint initiative, launched by ParentLine Scotland and the VRU last year to offer support to parents worried their child may be involved in violent behaviour and gang activity.
Alison Todd, Director of Policy and Practice Development for CHILDREN 1ST, the charity that runs ParentLine Scotland said:
“What is clear from the calls and emails we receive at ParentLine Scotland is that violence is an ever-present concern for parents. Children and young people are witnesses to and are victims of violence, both in their homes and communities, so it is not surprising that they are displaying aggressive behaviour themselves. It is important that children receive the help and support they need to overcome the negative impact of violence.”
“Parents worried about violent behaviour should call or email ParentLine Scotland.”
Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan, head of the Violence Reduction Unit, said: “The vast majority of our young people in Scotland will be fine – they’ll never get involved in violence, they’ll never carry a knife and they won’t be aggressive towards others. But that doesn’t stop parents worrying. That’s why the service ParentLine Scotland provides is so important: it can offer parents who are worried reassurance, guidance and a sympathetic ear.”
Last updated: Friday 25 March 2011