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Domestic Violence/Nephew abusing my parents


Hello, I am at my wits end....  My oldest nephew, now 24,  is living with my parents and on occasion when something goes wrong in his life he becomes violent with them.  Mostly he punches walls, doors, and cabinets, but once he punched my dad who then had to go to the hospital to get stitches.  He cannot keep a job for more than a few months.  He ends up saying that "they didn't like him."  My parents pay for everything for him and he does not contribute around the house.  His mother died in 2008, his real father didn't want him, and his step father was physically abusive to him.  For these reasons my parents feel guilty and put up with and even hide his behavior.  They are retired and should be enjoying life but instead are walking on eggshells and being drained financially.  When he gets violent, my dad calls to tell me but my mom tries to hide it or minimize it. They don't want to have him arrested because they think having a record will ruin his life.  It causes me great stress.  What can I do?

I am so sorry that this is happening to your parents.  It must be very difficult to watch.  :(  Unfortunately there is not a lot that you can do.  If he is abusing your parents they are the ones who need to press charges and if they won't, they won't.  You can try to educate them and also check into the elder abuse laws where you live.  Those laws might give you something to pursue if you can prove what you are charging the nephew with.  Let your parents know they are not doing the boy any favors by allowing him to behave this way.  He will just do this to others.  

If he leaves marks on your parents when he gets violent, take pictures and then take them to the police to see if there is any way you can press charges on their behalf.  

I would also speak with a good attorney to see if there are any legal means to protect your parents finances and property.

I wish there were more options.  Thank you for the question and if I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Domestic Violence

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Kriss Mitchell, M.Ed, CRC, CNHP


I am able to answer questions with regard to problems that result from emotional abuse or physical abuse in both dating and marriage relationships. Having been in an abusive relationship for many years, I know first hand the feelings, the questions and the doubts we go through as we try to make decisions about our lives. Often victims of abuse have deep faith based concerns regarding staying in these kinds of relationships which I am able to address as well.


My background started as a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship as well as having family members who were victims of violence and physical abuse. I have gone on to become a professional counselor and I work with abused women.

American Mental Health Counselors Association, American Association of Christian Counselors, International Association of Prayer Counselors

I currently maintain a blog at I also have links and currently written articles on my website at You can also follow me on TWITTER @livingwellcc, or on facebook at Living Well Counseling and Consulting. My writings have appeared in The Good News Northwest and the North Idaho Business Journal

Licensed Professional Counselor, Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Natural Health Professional

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