Child to parent abuse

Working with adults affected by child to parent abuse perpetrated by a substance misusing child

Funded by Comic Relief, Adfam is working with adults affected by child to parent abuse perpetrated by a substance misusing child.

What is child to parent abuse (CPA)?

Child to parent abuse (CPA) takes many forms and includes emotional abuse, financial exploitation, serious physical assaults, destruction of property in the home and social isolation caused by emotional manipulation. When CPA is combined with substance misuse, victims are often hit by the double shame of these two stigmatised issues, making it harder for them to access support.

CPA includes abuse perpetrated by adult children (i.e. those over the age of 18) and abuse directed towards anyone who is fulfilling a parental role (including foster carers, kinship carers, step-parents etc.).

Experts by experience

We believe that the best people to support people affected by CPA are "experts by experience" - those who have experience of the issue themselves. We are therefore training family members with experience of this issue to to raise awareness and share their experiences in local services and support groups.

Adfam's previous work on domestic abuse

This work builds on Adfam and AVA's 2012 work "Between a rock and a hard place" (PDF) which looked at the experiences of parents who were victims of domestic abuse from their substance using children. This in turn had built on Adfam's previous work on domestic violence.

Want to find out more?

For more information, please read our Project consultation and background (PDF) or contact Clara Collingwood.

Want to find help now?

For information on available support please see this map of child to parent abuse services.