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Parent Abuse: Opening Up a Discussion of a Complex Instance of Family Power Relations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 September 2010

Jerry Tew
Institute of Applied Social Studies, School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham, UK. E-mail:
Judy Nixon
Faculty of Development and Society, Sheffield Hallam University E-mail:


In the UK, the issue of parent abuse remains an unacknowledged and under-researched form of family violence receiving little recognition within social policy and professional practice. This may in part be due to the way it transgresses conventional notions of family power relations in which children are seen as potential victims but not as perpetrators. In this paper, we develop a framework for analysing the complexity of family power relations and explore how these may inform the context in which parent abuse and victimisation occurs. This may help to inform constructive policy and practice responses to this issue.

Themed Section on Family Minded Policy and Whole Family Practice
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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