Enfield-based charity Parent Abuse and Reconciliation Service highlights its work at open event

Enfield Independent: Edmonton MP Andy Love toasts the PAARS team Edmonton MP Andy Love toasts the PAARS team

A unique charity that offers help for parents who are victims of abuse from their children is looking to extend help to other families within the borough.

Set up in February 2012, the Parent Abuse And Reconciliation Service (PAARS) held an awareness event at its office in River Front, Enfield, on Friday for some of its 58 users and organisations it works with.

Edmonton MP Andy Love was also present as many of the charity's volunteers were recognised for the 16 to 17-hour days they work within parent support, anger management, family mediation and other areas.

According to project manager Joe Lettieri, such service provision did not exist before PAARS was launched.

He said: "We found as school practitioners that there wasn't any support for parents who were being abused by their children. It wasn't something that met the threshold of social services and the police would often come to the home and talk to the child, but often when they went away, the abuse would continue."

Mr Lettieri also shared the experiences of parents who are reluctant to criminalise their children but yet are desperate to obtain support, despite some being attacked with knives.

The Metropolitan Police recorded close to 2000 cases of adolescents violently assaulting a parent or carer in London between 2009 and 2010.

PAARS currently receives at least one referral per week in Enfield alone.

Yet only five organisations deal with parent-adolescent abuse across the whole of the capital, according to Mr Lettieri.

At least 85 per cent of the charity's clients have experienced domestic violence with the adolescent replicating the behavior of the perpetrator.

Furthermore, 90 per cent of clients are single mothers, and Mr Lettieri saying the "less than cordial" break-up can sometimes contribute to the problem.

Cases of parent abuse occur irrespective of postcodes, with incidents recorded within Edmonton, Winchmore Hill and other areas within the borough.

The most common age group being referred to PAARS is 12 to 14 years, with issues such as exam stress and a lack of understanding from parents being cited by teenagers. In the most severe cases, adolescents have been diagnosed with mental health and have self-harmed.

The charity is also unique as it provides an ongoing support service.

Mr Lettieri said: "We don't go in for six weeks. We could be with a family for six months or a year. By that time, that young person will want to know that you want to help. So you build up that trust and confidence with them."

Founder and direct parent support advisor Ayse Adil is hopeful that the service can be extended to preventative work with children aged five and older.

She said: "There are lots of services for nought to five but there's a gap between five and ten."

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