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London Violence Reduction Unit publishes research into child to parent violence

The Mayor of London has released results of new study into the violence and abuse by children towards parents.

The new research, published by London’s VRU, found that immense shame and fear of criminalisation or the child being removed from the home has led to significant underreporting of attacks, abuse or coercive control of parents.

Data reveals that at least 40 per cent of parents or carers who experienced violence by their children between 2011 and 2020, refused to report it. However, research shows the scale of the issue – known as Child/Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (CAPVA) - is likely to be much greater than reported figures suggest, and frontline practitioners working directly with families have warned they expect it to continue to increase.

The research was commissioned by the VRU to shine a light on the true scale and nature of CAPVA in London, and interventions and support for both young people and families. It found that there is no standard definition of CAPVA, which means children under-16 are treated as adult perpetrators of domestic abuse. As a result, opportunities to better understand drivers of behaviour and to intervene are minimised, or lost.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said ‘I’m determined to tackle all forms of violence in our capital and keeping Londoners safe will always be my top priority.

That’s why I welcome this major new research commissioned by my Violence Reduction Unit, which shines a light on a form of hidden harm.

It’s crucial we have a joined-up approach to tackling this issue because I want all Londoners, including parents and carers, to have confidence in reporting concerns so that services can intervene much earlier and provide the support families need and deserve.’

Read the full report here