Parental Abuse

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Parental Abuse

Abuse of parents by their children is a form of domestic abuse. It is under-reported and not well understood compared to other abuse types. Sufferers of this abuse type often feel ashamed and blame themselves, so are unlikely to seek help.

Adolescents or adults may perpetrate abuse against their parents, although children can also exhibit abusive tendencies.
There are many reasons why parental abuse occurs. The child may have previously been abused by a parent or witnessed abuse. They may have behavioural issues or mental illnesses, or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Abusive children may also struggle with caring for disabled or mentally ill parents, causing them to grow frustrated and express their emotions violently. Whether an adult or child, inflicting abuse onto others should be addressed to not only protect the victim, but also provide support for the child’s behavioural development.

Signs of parental abuse

A perpetrator of parental abuse may:

  • Demand money from their parent, or take control of their finances.
  • Take over the household, making their parent dependent on them.
  • Not respect their parent’s boundaries.
  • Physically or verbally abuse their parent.
  • Refuse to give their parent medication, or allow them to access medical treatment.
  • Isolate their parent from family or friends.
  • Threaten their parent with suicide if they don’t get their way.
  • Make family feel that they are walking on eggshells to keep the peace.
  • Show antisocial traits, like disrespecting teachers or lacking friends.
  • Threaten or harm household pets.

We can support you through our helpline if you believe that you or a loved one are experiencing parental abuse, so please give us a call if you need guidance.

Available support

If you relate to this information you are not alone; there is help available.

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