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Violence & Abuse Against Parents

Your child becoming violent to you and your family is something that you would never want to happen. But violence towards parents or other family members by young people is much more common than many people think. You may have difficulty admitting that your child is abusive. Its easy to feel ashamed and even blame yourself for the situation.

Remember, It is not a normal part of growing up and its important not to ignore the violence or any type of abuse and keep yourself safe. Taking early action is important to prevent violence and further abuse. 

If you or someone you know, is in immediate danger always call 999 and ask for the police.


  • Abuse can come in different forms. Its not just physical abuse. Verbal and psychological abuse can be equally as damaging. Below is a list of some behaviours that can be considered a form of abuse;

    Physical abuse:

    • Throwing objects around the house
    • Breaking family property
    • Hurting family pets
    • Pushing
    • Kicking
    • Punching

    Verbal abuse:

    •  Yelling, screaming and swearing in an abusive manner
    •  Making intimidating comments

    Psychological abuse

    • Playing mind games – threatening to run away, hurt
      themselves or telling lies to control people.



  • Your child may become abusive for a number of reasons. It could be that a young person has seen violence between parents, or a parent has been violent toward them, and they may believe it is normal. They may also have been brought up in a completely loving household with no signs of abuse. 

    Abusive behaviour can be a sign that they:

    • Haven’t learnt to control or manage feelings, especially anger.  They act out their feelings without using any self-control.
    • Haven’t learnt to deal with the stresses of life, to solve problems or cooperate. They might think it’s their right to have all their demands met above others (sense of 'entitlement').
    • Don’t value or respect other people, or their property
    • See a parent as weak and powerless 
    • Are affected by alcohol or drugs.  Some drugs can trigger psychosis (being out of touch with the real world) and violence.


    • Acknowledge the problem, don’t try to hide it or hide from it.
    • Have a safety plan – that may mean having the police phone number keyed into your mobile or a secret code word to alert a friend that you are in danger.
    • Don’t keep your child's abuse a secret – talk to the rest of your family so that you have a shared response to your child’s abusive behaviour.
    • Find out about counselling services in your area. 
    • Seek out support services for you, your child and your family. A list of support services can be seen below. 
    • Make sure that if you have other children they know how to dial 999 in an emergency.

    If you consider that you or other family members are at risk you must call the police (No parent wants to criminalise a child and this is generally not the first step that the police will take) But you and your families safety is the most important thing. 

Who can Help?

Who's in Charge 

Who’s in Charge? is a 9 week child to parent violence (CPV) programme aimed at parents whose children are being abusive or violent toward them or who appear out of parental control.  The structure of the programme consists of 8 two and a half hour sessions with a two-month follow up.

Young Minds Parents Helpline
0808 802 5544

Helpline for parents or carers concerned about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of children and young people.

Norwich Connect

Phone: 01603 628122

Norwich Connect offer support for Adolescent to Parent Violence (APV) which is available for both parents and young people (11-17). This support focuses on topics such as enabling young people to manage their emotions in a non-abusive manner and developing healthy communication skills.

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