Adolescent to parent violence is a form of family violence that is currently unrecognised in official discourse and statistics, despite increasing evidence that it is a significant problem. The data underpinning this article have been derived from the first large-scale study in the UK specifically exploring adolescent to parent violence, which examined the extent and nature of this problem, families’ experiences, and how reports of adolescent to parent violence are responded to within and outside of the criminal justice system. The article draws upon analysis of 100 police case files and interviews with 20 police officers to critically examine current police policy and practice in this emerging area of criminal justice. The findings highlight a high level of police discretion leading to inconsistency in how reported incidents are managed and the challenges encountered by police in responding to this complex form of family violence. The findings are considered within a broader domestic violence policy framework and we conclude by considering how police policy and practice might be developed in this area to meet the complex needs of families experiencing adolescent to parent violence.
- adolescent to parent violence; child to parent violence; parent abuse;