As a parent and/or carer, you may find that your young person is using physical violence or other abusive or controlling behaviours in the home. These behaviours can leave family members feeling threatened, intimidated or controlled and may include yelling and screaming; pushing and shoving; property damage; or threats to harm self and others. Parents and carers are often confused by their adolescent’s behaviours and may describe behaviours as “losing it”; “a bit over the top” or “giving me a hard time”.

Where there is adolescent violence in the home, young people often have multiple other issues – which can be key drivers for the use of violence. We believe in order to address these issues – such as mental health and school refusal – the violence must be attended to first.

Many parents and/or carers report feeling stressed, guilty and ashamed and have found that common sense parenting strategies do not work when there is adolescent violence in the home.

Our programs can help you find the confidence and skills you need to get violence out of the home and heal your relationship with your young person. Our Practitioners can help you to better understand your young person’s behaviour and help them get back on track.

Breaking the Cycle (BTC)

Breaking the Cycle comprises of two therapeutic approaches to support families: Breaking the Cycle Group and Breaking the Cycle Family Therapy.

The Breaking the Cycle Group runs for eight sessions once a week. It is suitable for mothers, fathers, step-parents and carers whose adolescent (aged 12-18 years) is abusive and/or violent in the home. The group aims to stop the violence and equip families with the skills and strategies to repair and develop long lasting healthy relationships.

Breaking the Cycle Family Therapy provides individual family support that can build on the BTC group work or be offered independently of the group. The BTC Family Therapy is a whole of family support that aims to strengthen family dynamics and functioning, improve communication and establish and maintain new patterns of family behaviour. The BTC Family Therapy offers flexible support and is tailored to individual family’s needs and goals.

The Breaking the Cycle program is available for families with adolescents (aged 12-17years) who use family violence in the home, residing in Melbourne’s Eastern Region, Western Region and Loddon.

Enquiries and Referrals

Anglicare Victoria runs other similar programs for parents. Please get in touch to learn more:

    Key principles regarding violence:

    • Violence is never acceptable
    • Violence is the responsibility of the person using the violence
    • Parents are not responsible for adolescent violence but can be part of the solution
    • Victims of violence (often mothers) want to end the violence rather than end the relationship
    • Violence is a choice and young people are capable of taking responsibility for their violent behaviour
    • Violence is not the same as anger or temper
    • Parents can hold adolescents accountable for their violent behaviour whilst still recognising their sadness and distress.

    Violence & abuse can be very confusing

    It can difficult for parents to distinguish between “normal” rebellion and unacceptable violent behaviour.

    It can be extremely difficult to know how to respond. Parents wonder whether they should take action or wait for the adolescent to grow up, use more or less consequences, back down or give up, call the Police or take out an Intervention order.

    Attending the Breaking the Cycle group or participating in the Breaking the Cycle Family Therapy gives parents and/or carers an opportunity to consider these issues as well as learn new skills to better manage these challenging situations.

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