Staying Safe Around Others

Violence & Abuse Against Parents/Carers

Your child becoming violent to you or other members of the family is something that you would never want to happen. 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. It's easy to feel ashamed and even blame yourself for the situation.

Taking early action when you are worried will help to prevent violence and further abuse. Remember, it is not a normal part of growing up, don't ignore the violence or any type of abuse. It is important to take steps so you are able to keep yourself and your family safe.

Dive Deeper

Types of Abuse

Abuse can come in lots of different forms. It is not just physical abuse. Verbal and psychological abuse can be just 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.

Why Is My Child Violent?

Your child may become abusive for a number of reasons. It could be that they have 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 household with no signs of abuse. 

Abusive behaviour can be a sign that your child:

  • Hasn’t learnt to control or manage feelings, especially anger. They act out their feelings without using any self-control.
  • Hasn’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.
  • Doesn’t value or respect other people, or their property.
  • Sees their parent or carer as weak and powerless 
  • Is affected by alcohol or drugs. Some drugs can trigger psychosis (being out of touch with the real world) and violence.

What Can I Do?

Start by acknowledging the problem, don’t try to hide it or hide from it. If your child is being violent towards you or others regularly, it is unlikely they will just stop.

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 their behaviour.

Seek out support services for you, your child and your family. A list of support services can be seen below. You may also be able to find out about counselling services in your area. 

It sounds scary, but have a safety plan. This will give you and other family members a plan of what do if a violent outbreak happens. It may mean having the police phone number saved in your mobile phone or a secret code word to alert a friend that you are in danger.

Make sure that if you have other children they know how to dial 999 in an emergency.

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

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. The safety of you and your family is the most important thing. 

Services to Support You

Who's in Charge?

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.

Find out more

Young Minds

Provide webchat, email and phone helpline for parents or carers concerned about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of children and young people.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

Who can Help?

You can also contact a member of the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

Qwell provides free, safe and anonymous mental wellbeing support for adults in Norfolk and Waveney from a professional team of qualified counsellors.

For 11–25 year olds Kooth is a free, confidential and safe way to receive online counselling, advice and emotional well-being support. 

Childline - Children and young people under 19 can call 0800 1111 for free support.

Young Minds Parents Helpline - Call 0808 802 5544 for free Mon-Fri from 9.30am to 4pm.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.

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