Child to parent violence and abuse (CPVA) is pattern of behaviour and an abuse of power through which a son or daughter under the age of 18 years old coerces, controls or dominates parents or carers. Initially identified as ‘battered parent syndrome’ (Harbin & Madden, 1979), the recent emergence of a growing body of literature research from Ireland, Europe and further afield, has enabled us to glance behind the “veil of silence” surrounding CPVA (e.g. Ibabe et al, 2014; Coogan & Holt, S 2015; Holt, 2016). Yet there is still a lot to do - the focus of policy, research and intervention development into abuse within familial and intimate relationships has been almost exclusively on child abuse/ neglect or domestic violence committed by adults rather than on abusive and violent behaviour within families carried out by children and adolescents (Lyons et al, 2015).
In response, this chapter offers practitioners, researchers and those involved with policy development a clear definition of CPVA and focuses on Non Violent Resistance as a model of intervention. This chapter also highlights key messages from European and international literature on CPVA. In particular, this chapter draws on research recently completed by the author, the Child to Parent Violence – An Exploration in Non Violent Resistance’ (Coogan, 2016a) study, hereafter referred to as ‘Exploring NVR’. This study explored the experiences and perceptions of child and family practitioners in Ireland as they integrate the Non Violent Resistance model into their work with families living with CPVA.