Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, September 24, 2010

Douglas & Walsh: “Mothers, Domestic Violence, and Child Protection, Violence Against Women”

Heather Douglas (The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law) & Tamara Walsh (University of Queensland) have posted Mothers, Domestic Violence, and Child Protection, 16 Violence Against Women, 489-508 (2010) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This article explores the relationship between understandings of domestic violence and the child protection response drawing on material gathered in focus groups with workers who support mothers dealing with both domestic violence and child protection issues. The interviewees expressed concern that the dynamics of domestic violence are often misunderstood and inappropriately responded to by child protection workers.This article critically examines the interviewees’ concerns and concludes that to properly protect children, it is crucial that child protection workers have a clear understanding of the dynamics of and issues related to domestic violence.


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It is good to see this issue being addressed properly as very few court judges and agents have a full understanding of domestic abuse and child protection. Rarely is the protective parent supported, but in most cases the perpetrator ends up as the victim, having used all his/her manipulatitive tactics on the various professionals and convinced them that his victim is simply "mad".
I am sure most are now aware that battered wothers are no longer coming forward for help, because word has got out that they will be punished by the courts and child protectors for daring to leave the violence.
It is a catch 22- if the victim leaves, she will most likely loose the children to her abuser- 75% and if she stays and is found out, she will also loose the children for failure to protect.
The time has come to address this matter properly.

Posted by: Sara | Sep 25, 2010 1:33:40 PM

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