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The Enemy Within 4 million reasons to tackle family conflict and family violence

All too often the violence depicted within families focuses on intimate partner violence, or what is usually called domestic violence. However, 4Children’s research shows a wider picture of conflict and violence that encompasses the whole family – where both children and parents can be both victims and perpetrators.

The evidence suggests that violence is more widespread within the family than was previously thought: for example, adolescent on parent violence is a growing problem. Whilst acts of physical violence are not the ‘norm’, the various forms of general conflict that can lead to that violence are worryingly prevalent and becoming of greater concern to professionals who deal every day with the impact and repercussions on children and on families.

Family violence is born out of family conflict. Verbal abuse, arguments over family finances and disputes between parents and their children are all part of a disturbing portrait of family life in many homes in Britain. Our research shows that around 4 million parents with dependant children in this country experience regular conflict. This is of huge concern because studies show that conflict even without violence has a similar impact on children as physical abuse. A survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of 4Children reveals that as many as close to 53% of parents with dependent children experience serious or frequent conflict.