THERE will be a very important conference in Bray this Thursday focusing on elder abuse.
The 'Parent Abuse is Domestic Violence' conference will take place in the Wilton Hotel, Bray at 9.30am.
Bray Women's Refuge has noted a steady increase in elderly people seeking help at their centre over the past two years.
In particular, they have noted increasing reports of violence perpetrated by offspring against their parents.
Parent abuse is an emerging problem in Ireland with families beginning to talk about it and with child and family practitioners and researchers exploring it more recently.
It is a hidden form of family violence that is not recognised in policy or practice guidelines on working with families or on interventions relating to domestic violence and abuse.
As it is not recorded currently in Ireland or the UK it is difficult to give accurate figures on its prevalence.
It is not possible to say whether the rates of occurrence is rising (no reliable baseline or initial records of the extent of it) but what experts can confidently say is that it is being reported and discussed more.
Parent abuse or child to parent violence is defined as a harmful act of a child aged between 10 and 18 years intended to gain control over parents or family members.
The abuse can be psychological, physical and/ or financial.
It is different to what could be seen as the usual challenging behaviour of children as they grow and develop because of the attempts by the child to dominate, coerce or control parents and often other members of the family.
Speakers include: Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr. Tony Humphreys, Mr. Declan Coogan MSW, ( lecturer in School of Political Science & Sociology NUI Galway), Mr. Derek Robinson, Social worker in Newcastle Psychiatric Hospital Wicklow and Facilitator in Anger Management Ireland and Chairperson of Parentline, Ms Cora McEntee BA., M. Psychology.
Representatives from the voluntary and statutory sector services associated with the issue of Domestic Abuse i.e. The Mental Health & Medical Professions, An Garda Siochana, Addiction Services, Children and Young Peoples Support Organisations, Homeless Services and Welfare Supports.
Educators, religious and those with an interest are invited to attend.
The cost of this seminar is €35 to include tea/coffee biscuits, and 3 course buffet lunch
Places are limited so early booking is advisable .