Child contact and domestic violence articles

Photo credit_ heraldpost via _ CC BY-NC-2Implacably Hostile or Appropriately Protective?: Women Managing Child Contact in the Context of Domestic Violence

About the author: Dr Christine Harrison

The United Kingdom has seen conflicting developments in safeguarding women’s and children’s safety when there has been domestic violence. Although criminal justice responses have improved, child contact arrangements following parental separation remain dominated by pro-contact models that fail to take full account of the impact of domestic violence. Drawing on qualitative research in U.K. child contact (visitation) centers, this article presents women’s perspectives to demonstrate how family court proceedings and welfare practices marginalized violence and exposed women and children to further abuse. This builds on previous articles in the journal to show how, in the post-separation family, contact now constitutes a significant site for continuing violence.

Read via linked page: Implacably Hostile or Appropriately Protective?: Women Managing Child Contact in the Context of Domestic Violence

Sourced via: Research Gate

Safe not sorry: Supporting the campaign for safer child contact

About the authors: Thiara, R.K. and Harrison C., University of Warwick,  (Bristol: Women’s Aid, 2016)


‘This review of research focuses on the safety and wellbeing of children when having contact, whilst also acknowledging that this is related to the safety of women. It identifies major messages from research about what is needed to ensure that child contact arrangements are safe, beneficial and informed by children views. The report:

  •   Examines the implications of the presumption of contact that underpins the current legal process and the risks this poses for children’s safety and wellbeing;
  •   Identifies what is required to improve the safety and wellbeing of children when arrangements for child contact are made where there is a history of domestic violence;
  •   Makes recommendations for changes that are urgently need’ed.

Read via linked page: Safe not Sorry – supporting the campaign for safer child contact: Key issues raised by research on child contact and domestic violence

Sourced via: Research Gate

Absent presence: The ongoing impact of men’s violence on the mother-child relationship

About the authors: Dr Ravi K. Thiara and Professor Cathy Humphreys

This paper draws from interviews with 45 mothers and 52 children who participated in an action research project to develop activities to support women and children in the aftermath of domestic violence. A thematic analysis was used to analyse the data and explore the question: In what ways does the perpetrator of abuse remain present in the lives of women and children following separation? The paper invites workers to recognize the distortions created by domestic violence that may need to be identified and addressed in the aftermath of violence. The ways in which past trauma, erosion of self-esteem and the undermining of the mother–child relationship continues to create a shadow across the present relationship are identified. The continued presence of the perpetrator of abuse through child contact arrangements and ongoing harassment is also highlighted. The ‘absent presence’ of the abusive partner is posited as a concept to assist workers with a framework through which to understand problems in the mother–child relationship which emerge when living with and separating from a violent partner. The paper has implications for social workers orientating practice to focus on perpetrator accountability and support strengthening the mother–child relationship.

Read via linked page: Absent presence: The ongoing impact of men’s violence on the mother-child relationship

Sourced via: Research Gate

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