Abused children are often also violent towards their parents

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Children who experience child abuse are often violent towards their parents, according to a study by the Verwey-Jonker Institute. Two in three abused young people say they use violence against their father or mother.

The Verwey-Jonker Institute has been following families struggling with domestic violence since 2009. That research already showed that such abuse and neglect is more harmful to children than thought and that violence continues in more than half of the cases even after a report to Veilig Thuis. continues.

This time the institute also looked at parental abuse by their children. This mainly happens psychologically, i.e. children scold, harass, belittle or threaten their parents.


The children do not want to show the same behavior as their parents, but they have no choice, says the scientific director of Verwey-Jonker Majone Steketee. “They just never learned any other way to deal with arguments and conflicts.”

“They have actually learned that you have to behave violently. These children do not know that you can also solve such problems by talking and listening.”

According to her, this also means that there is a high chance that these young people will use violence in their love relationships or become victims of it.

Breaking the circle

Steketee calls it worrying that such a large proportion of abused children also use violence themselves. She believes that care services should pay much more attention to children, precisely because they are the parents of the future.

“We have known for a long time that violence is passed on from generation to generation,” says Steketee. “But these figures are much higher than I expected. This requires a different, more targeted approach to teach these children to deal with conflicts differently. If we want to break the circle, you will really have to provide good help to today’s children. offer.”

  • Domestic violence more harmful than thought for children
  • In more than half of violent families, abuse continues even after reporting
  • Domestic

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