Attacked by their children: Parents subjected to violent abuse in lockdown

Tap to hear the account of one mother and how finding support has changed her life

A mother who was abused by her adolescent son has told ITV News Meridian how finding support has changed her life.

Their relationship started to breakdown before the pandemic but lockdown escalated the situation.

"He was becoming quite violent towards me, quite obstructive.

"If he wanted to play and his Xbox and if I tried to say no it’s midnight you need to go to bed he would become quite violent towards me."

  • Scroll down for organisations offering help and support

This mother says getting help has given her hope

The level of violence also intensified as the weeks went on.

"It would be slaps, then punches, then it progressed to him throwing things at me…from pencils to cd cases, and then it would further escalate to anything hammers, screwdrivers…

"He took the keys to the house and if I went out to escape then he would lock me out."

The parent says it's difficult to comprehend that her son could act towards her in this way,

"I didn’t see it escalating at the time. When you’re in a family situation and someone you love you continually forgive them. "I was [terrified], and at one point, he only said it once, he did actually say ‘I’m gonna kill you’."

  • Lockdown sees a 'significant increase' in adolescent to parent abuse

The abuse is often hidden inside homes Credit:

A report by an Oxford University professor found a 'significant increase' in adolescent to parent abuse compared to before the pandemic.

Despite sustaining serious injuries, parent are often reluctant to contact police in fear of criminalising their children.

Source: 'Experiences of adolescent to parent violence in the COVID-19 lockdown' 

Charities such as Stop Domestic Abuse in Hampshire encourage parents and carers to come forward Credit:

Charities such as Hampshire based organisation Stop Domestic Abuse have seen a six-fold increase in referrals for their group and one-to-one adolescent to parent abuse sessions.

Chelsea Haslett is Deputy Service Manager for the charity and says there is a stigma,

"I think a lot of parents or carers feel they're gonna be judged, 'how can you not control your own children, what's wrong with you?, what are you doing that's not right.

"But there is support available, we offer the group work which is a six-week programme, but we recognise this isn't for everybody so we offer the support on an individual basis too.

"The main underlying message we will always be getting out is that no kind of abusive behaviours is acceptable at all."

  • Jordan Hollis is from Home-Start East Sussex who also offer support

The mother who accessed support says the help she received has changed the relationship with her son,

"It was like a lifeline being thrown out to me. That was my shining light because I had days when I didn’t want to be here."He will now frequently send me messages of love, it shows that even if you think something is completely broken, when you have the right help, anything is possible."

  • Support organisations

Stop Domestic Abuse (Hampshire)

Home-Start (East Sussex)

Who's In Charge? (Berkshire and Buckinghamshire)

Safe Project (Oxfordshire)

Early Help Partnership (Dorset)

Safe in Sussex (West Sussex)

Oasis (Kent)