The Enemy Within: Families experiencing new levels of conflict and violence


4Children reveals the extent of conflict and violence in Britain’s families. A survey of parents with children under the age of 18 carried out by YouGov on behalf of 4Children reveals that over half of parents with children experience serious or frequent conflict - which equates to about 4 million families with children in this country[1] (where families are defined as parents with children under 18 years of age).

Only 7% of parents said there was no conflict in their home. 4Children’s groundbreaking report, The Enemy Within, presents the full picture of conflict and violence within families. The report reveals the way in which children and parents can be both victims and perpetrators of family conflict - with the evidence suggesting that violence is more widespread within the family than was perhaps previously thought. The report highlights that children are overwhelmingly the victims: 950,000 children are affected by domestic violence, either directly as victims of violence, or indirectly in terms of witnessing violence.[2] Squeezes on household budgets area a key factor, with one in 5 parents (21%) reporting conflict over serious financial worries and debt. Other causes of family conflict include:

  • Arguments with teenage children 20%
  • Disagreements over child discipline 17%
  •  Sibling rivalry between children 17%
  • Redundancy/ long term unemployment of one or both parents 7%

[1]All population estimates calculated by 4Children, based on the YouGov data and ONS figures.
[2]As extrapolated by 4Children using British Crime Survey 2009 and ONS data 2009.

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The Enemy Within Report

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