Abuse by kids reality for many

A college student beats up his mother for not giving him money to smoke and drink, and the video goes viral

The college student is addicted to smoking and drinking, and threatened his mother for speaking ill about him to the neighbours, the police say. (Screengrab)

The video of a 17-year-old Bengaluru boy physically assaulting his mother shows how parental abuse is a daily reality.

In the clip, which went viral, the minor is seen hitting his mother with a broomstick, prompting her to cry out in pain.

The college student is addicted to smoking and drinking, and threatened his mother for speaking ill about him to the neighbours, the police say.

Police have registered a suo motu case, but there is no specific law to protect parents against abuse by minor children.

“You will have to go back to Indian Penal Code sections related to domestic violence, assault causing injury, hurt, grievous hurt, intimidation and threatening,” says Pradeep Singh, senior counsel for government of India, civil and criminal law. These charges can be mentioned in the FIR.

“A child has to be more than 16 years of age to be booked in a case under IPC. If he or she is under 16 years, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act comes into play. Here, rather than penalising, the focus is on correction and child welfare,” he says.

Pradeep has heard of many cases of older children abusing parents. “Some clients tell me their children are not providing financial support, and even physically assault them. But being parents, they don’t take legal recourse, fearing their children will be put into difficulty,” he says.

What happened in assault case?

After the video went viral, the police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against the 17-year-old boy. Charges: voluntarily causing hurt and assaulting a woman with intent to outrage her modesty.

The boy was also charged under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act. The Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Women took cognisance of the incident.

What can cause it?

Multiple causes are cited—ranging from a child having poor coping skills, a poor concept of boundaries, no good role models, substance abuse and addiction. Other causes: psychological and psychiatric disorders.

What can cause this type of behaviour?

Such situations are seen more in broken families. When spouses have differences of opinion or are heading towards a divorce, one parent may try to influence the child to their side, points out Pradeep Singh, senior counsel for government of India, civil and criminal law.

“Once a man told me how his son, 15-16 years old, was threatening him, throwing things at him and showing gestures of attacking,” he says.

A retired man with no income rued how none of his children gave him any money.

Under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, parents can file a petition for maintenance even if they are not senior citizens. The section says: Both the mother and the father, whether natural or adoptive, can claim maintenance from any one or more of their children. Daughters are also liable to pay maintenance to the mother and the father. A step-mother can claim maintenance only if she is a widow and does not have natural-born sons or daughters.

“But this is not used by many parents because of our Indian culture and ethos. It is mostly used for claiming maintenance from the husband but it can also be used to claim maintenance from children. I think going forward, many parents will be using it for their financial security,” opines Pradeep

Child-parent violence

It is the abuse of parents by children. It is a form of domestic violence, and is thought to be one of the most under-reported and under-researched areas in the field of psychology. Parents are quite often subject to levels of childhood aggression in excess of normal childhood aggressive outbursts, typically in the form of verbal or physical abuse. But most parents feel ashamed and think they should be able to handle the situation by themselves. They also feel it might not be safe to try and control the situation as it might enrage the child more.

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Abuse by kids reality for many

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