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Child on parent violence

Child on Parent Violence (CPV) or Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (APVA) is any behaviour used by a young person to control, dominate, or coerce their parents.  It is often threatening and intimidating and can put family safety at risk.  Whilst it is normal for adolescents to demonstrate healthy anger, conflict, and frustration during their transition from childhood to adulthood, anger should not be confused with abuse or violence.  Violence is a range of behaviours including non-physical acts aimed at achieving ongoing control over another person by instilling fear, similar to in cases of domestic abuse.

Most abused parents have difficulty admitting even to themselves that their child is abusive. They feel ashamed, disappointed and humiliated and blame themselves for the situation, which has led to this imbalance of power. There is also an element of denial where parents convince themselves that their child’s behaviour is part of normal adolescent conduct.

Although specific programmes to address CPV/APVA are in their early stages, help and support for abused parents is available through local Early Intervention and/or Domestic Abuse services.

The Information Guide: Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse is the culmination of research and practice pointers that have been developed in response to practitioners identifying the need for bespoke interventions that incorporate the specific circumstances of families where there is CPV/APVA.

It outlines the complexities of CPV/APVA, the challenges it poses and the identification that there appears to be no clear single or set of pathways into this form of familial violence. Equally, there is no one response to CPV/APVA. Research demonstrates that practitioners have adapted or moulded existing services or programmes as a way of providing interventions. It was also identified that there are some pockets or examples of specific and excellent programmes that are specifically designed to tackle CPV/APVA, but these are few and far between, and most existing programmes do not meet the needs of these families.

The launch of the Information Guide is a strong beginning and marks an acceptance and recognition of CPV/APVA together with the need to work to support families who experience it.


Further reading and resources

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