A man is suing his mother over her alleged failure to protect him from his father's beatings.
The 32-year-old County Durham man, who cannot be identified, told the High Court in London that his mother, now in her late 60s, assaulted him herself.
He claimed that she aided and abetted daily punishment by her husband by reporting her son's wrongdoings.
His mother denied liability and has claimed the case was brought outside the legal time limit.
The man, who was brought up in west London, claimed he was assaulted up to four times a day between the ages of five and 19 by the father he called a "tormentor".
He said he was hit with a stick, belt, electrical lead or wooden brush until he was 16 and struck with an open hand and throttled or choked as he got older.
His mother said her son was "exaggerating".
She did agree that she slapped him occasionally but said it was "reasonable chastisement" and denied hitting him with a clothes brush.
The son said in court: "I saw that she did not like me and it led me to think that her primary concern in seeking help was to make her home life run more smoothly and not the welfare of myself or my siblings.
"I wouldn't say my mother had done her best to protect me. I always felt she could have done more.
"She wasn't a tormentor like my father was, continually looking for excuses to assault me.
"For the best part of it she was herself fairly harmless."
The man is seeking damages for pain and suffering as well as £7,800 to pay for therapy.
He claimed he first consulted a solicitor 10 years ago but did not take action as he found ordinary life a struggle.