The Conversation
4 minute read
29 Apr 2022
12:38 pm

When parents turn children into weapons, everybody loses

The Conversation

One form of domestic abuse involves a parent breaking their child’s connection with the other parent.

Picture: iStock

Domestic abuse can involve one parent using a child as a weapon against the other parent, which harms the child in immense ways. My research has identified how these dynamics play out and examines the damage. There are approximately 5.7 million cases of domestic abuse in the U.S. each year, and in some of those, mothers and fathers use children to manipulate and harm the other parent. This behaviour can include directly pressuring the child to spy on the abused parent or threatening the abused parent that they will never see the child again if they leave the relationship. Another way a parent...