De-Criminalising Adolescent to Parent Violence Under s 76 Serious Crime Act 2015 (c.9)

Vanessa Bettinson*, Christina Quinlan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article questions the appropriateness of including adolescent to parent violence (APV) within the elements of a criminal offence designed to criminalise domestic violence and abuse. The offence, s 76 Serious Crime Act 2015, prohibits controlling and coercive behaviours towards a person personally connected to the defendant. This spans ongoing intimate relationships and a wide range of family relationships. The authors conducted a small-scale research study that looked at practitioners’ understandings of APV and found that many cases of APV could satisfy the s 76 offence. The article examines the correlation between the concepts of coercive control and APV, noting that there are significant differences that justify treating adolescent-perpetrators of APV differently to adult-perpetrators of intimate partner coercive control in the criminal law. These factors concern the unique vulnerabilities of both the parent-victim and the adolescent-perpetrator in APV, and human rights law requires the equal protection of both parties on the basis of their vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Criminal Law
Issue number1
Early online date9 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Cite this