‘Acting in the children’s best interest?’: Examining victims’ responses to intimate partner violence

Meyer, Silke (2011) ‘Acting in the children’s best interest?’: Examining victims’ responses to intimate partner violence. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 20 4: 436-443. doi:10.1007/s10826-010-9410-7

Author Meyer, Silke
Title ‘Acting in the children’s best interest?’: Examining victims’ responses to intimate partner violence
Journal name Journal of Child and Family Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1062-1024
Publication date 2011-08
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10826-010-9410-7
Volume 20
Issue 4
Start page 436
End page 443
Total pages 8
Place of publication United States
Publisher Springer New York LLC
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract Victims’ responses to violent experiences within intimate relationships are highly diverse and can range from remaining silent, at least temporarily, to disclosing the abuse to informal and formal sources of support. Decisions to remain silent or to reach out for support are influenced by a complex range of factors, including situational circumstances, such as the presence of children. Using data from in-depth interviews with victims of IPV (N = 29) in Southeast Queensland, Australia, I examined victims’ responses to IPV when children are present in the abusive household. Victims, who accessed general formal support sources, including the criminal justice systems and Child Protection Services (CPS), frequently faced stereotypical and victim-blaming attitudes along with a lack of understanding of the dynamics of IPV and the circumstances surrounding victims’ help-seeking decisions. The presence of children in abuse relationships complicated victims’ help-seeking decisions because fear of harm and loss of custody often delayed or hindered the disclosure of IPV to formal support sources. Once disclosing the abuse victims often found themselves trapped between CPS expectations to protect their children by leaving the abusive partner and a reluctance on behalf of judges and magistrates to offer the necessary protection by including children on granted Domestic Violence Orders (DVO). These findings highlight the ongoing need for specialized training of CPS personnel, judges and magistrates along with an ongoing collaboration with the women’s sector to ensure the safety of victims and their children throughout the help-seeking process and to improve victims’ confidence in disclosing IPV.
Keyword Domestic violence
Intimate partner violence
Child protection
Victim safety
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 31 August, 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2011 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 02 Mar 2011, 16:54:10 EST by Dr Silke Meyer on behalf of ISSR - Research Groups