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Responding to Child to Parent Violence: European Perspectives

Country Report England

In England, like most European countries, people have only recently started to publicly recognise and talk about child to parent violence (CPV) although there have been other earlier attempts to raise this issue.

There is no official policy relating to CPV specifically or legal definition of CPV however there are new developments on this front (see Legislation and Policies below). The definition most used to describe child to parent violence in England is the one introduced by the Canadian researcher Barbara Cottrell according to which child to parent violence is

‘’...any harmful act by a child intended to gain power and control over a parent. The abuse can be physical, psychological, or financial” (Cottrell 2001, 3)

An additional definition used is Paterson et al., (2002, 90), which states that ‘’behaviour (is) considered to be violent if others in the family feel threatened, intimidated or controlled by it and if they believe that they must adjust their own behaviour to accommodate threats or anticipation of violence’’. In spite of a consensus among English researchers and academics in the definition of child to parent violence there is disagreement on the terminology used to describe CPV (Wilcox, 2012) and the terms child to parent violence, parent abuse and adolescent to parent violence are often used interchangeably.