Child to parent violence

If you are in immediate danger ring 111. If unable to speak, press 55.

Let them know that your child has a neuro-disability. It's essential to keep yourself safe.


Child to parent violence (CPV) is a frequently hidden issue which arises in families with an individual with FASD. It is a complex issue which continues to be misunderstood and minimised outside of the family home. If you are experiencing CPV please be assured that it is not due to poor parenting – it can be because the young person in your care is struggling to regulate and/or make sense of their emotions. This can result in a need to dominate, coerce, and gain control over their parents/caregivers. 

Displays of aggression and violence by children/adolescents towards adults that are intended to threaten and intimidate and put family safety at risk can include: 

  • Making threats 
  • Exhibiting uncontrolled rage (this is dysregulated behaviour where there is a risk of harm to others) 
  • Verbal abuse -yelling, screaming swearing, name calling, making intimidating comments  
  • Physical - hitting, kicking, punching, biting, throwing objects or using objects as a weapon to intimidate or harm, breaking family property, hurting pets, pushing, blocking. 
  • Playing mind games – manipulating, controlling, gaslighting, threatening to run away, self-harming, confabulating. 
  • Sexual – penetration, touching, exposing themselves, sexual innuendos.  
  • Financial – stealing, using credit cards, coercing money from caregivers. 

People experiencing CPV report that they are always in a state of hypervigilance and feel like they are walking on eggshells waiting for the next explosion. Some of the common mental health effects of family violence are PTSD, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness and fear of the future. 


CPV Webinars

NoFASD Australia have produced a webinar series called Child and adolescent to parent/carer violence and abuse presented by University of Otago Professor, Anita Gibbs, a registered social worker who has taught social work, sociology and criminology courses for 20 years. Her research interests include Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and complex disabilities, especially identifying best practice in helping families and best evidence for professionals in their interventions with families.

These webinars look at the issue of CPV and the impact that it has on family members, how professionals respond and strategies that may help to reduce the family distress. Click here to go to the first webinar, and here for the second.


Where to go to for help 

If you are in immediate danger ring 111. If unable to speak, press 55. Let them know that your child has a neuro-disability.
It's essential to keep yourself safe in order to be there for your child in the future.

Shine Family Violence Agency is a National organisation offering a free helpline, training, and consultancy throughout New Zealand.
Call 0508 744 633 for 24/7 help and counselling. 

If you are in crisis or feeling suicidal, please reach out to Lifeline Aotearoa Inc on 0800 543 354.