Domestic abuse of parents by children increasing

Until recent years, domestic abuse was considered a problem that involved a wife being mistreated by her husband. Over the past years there has been an increase in the recorded number of male victims of domestic abuse, and there is also a smaller percentage of domestic violence cases that involve parents been attacked by their children.

The University of Brighton has been granted a £600,000 grant to study abuse of parents by children. It is reported that 3% of all domestic violence reports involve an attack on a parent by their child, and given the reluctance of a parent to speak out about their child, that figure could just be the tip of the iceberg, say experts. The majority of child on parent abuse cases involve sons and their mothers, and the children are mostly aged 15 and over.

Some of the cases involve serious physical abuse, with many parents reporting how their child grabbed them by the throat or pinned them against a wall. Parents often feel they have no where to turn to in such cases, and often feel shame that the situation has gotten out of control.

It is hoped the study will increase our awareness and understanding of child on parent domestic abuse.

Suzanne Scott, a solicitor specialising in domestic violence and other family law issues at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast commented:

"Our understanding of domestic abuse has advanced considerably over the past years, and it is not now solely characterised as an act of violence by a husband against his wife. Abuse does not necessarily involve violence, and it is clear than anyone can be a victim of abuse, even a parent at the hands of one of their children."

If you or someone you know is suffering domestic violence or abuse, you can contact one of the solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Northern Ireland for advice on the legal remedies available to you by calling 0800 840 1363.