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Who's In Charge?

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Help and Support for parents experiencing child to parent violence and abuse?




Melissa Rolph, our senior Counsellor and Clinic Director, has recently trained with Who's in Charge? and is now able to facilitate the Who's in Charge? group programme.


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.

Child to parent violence is abuse in any family and is a very serious issue. Mothers are most likely to be the targets of this violence; however, all family members can be at risk. And the issue cuts across all of society.


The violence and abuse may be verbal, psychological, physical, or financial with young people engaged in a variety of behaviours designed to dominate, threaten or coerce parents or other family members.


Abuse is never okay!

While it is generally accepted that there will be occasional conflict within a family who live together which can be between parents and their children or children squabbling between themselves, this conflict becomes abusive when one person uses threats, force or manipulation to gain power over the other. Violence is not the same as anger. Anger is an emotion while violence is about power and control.

Child and adolescent violence has many similarities to domestic violence, but while domestic violence between adults in the UK is generally well recognised, child to parent violence and abuse in families often remains hidden and unacknowledged because of the shame associated with it and the fear of what could happen if it is reported.

It’s important to remember that child to parent violence and abuse in the family exists across all communities, social classes, cultural background and geographic area. It can happen in any family!

What is child to parent violence and abuse?

Physical Abuse - may include pushing, hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, throwing things, punching holes in the walls, wrecking other parts of the structure in the home and harming pets.

Verbal Abuse - is a form of psychological abuse and may include shouting and yelling; arguing; challenging, being critical and belittling; name calling and swearing.

Psychological/emotional Abuse - includes intimidating parent; causing parents to

feel fearful; maliciously playing mind games; making unrealistic demands on parents; lying; threatening to injure family members; withholding affection; threatening to run away, harm themselves or commit suicide; leaving the home without stating where they are going; using offensive text messages; relentlessly pursuing parents around the home.

Financial Abuse - includes stealing money or belongings; demanding goods that parents cannot afford; incurring debt that a parent cannot cover (e.g. using credit card to shop online &

school fines for non-attendance) and destroying property in the home.

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