Handbook on Gender and Social Policy
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Handbook on Gender and Social Policy

Edited by Sheila Shaver

Providing a state of the art overview, this comprehensive Handbook is an essential introduction to the subject of Gender and Social Policy. Bringing together original contributions and research from leading researchers it covers the theoretical perspectives of the field, the central policy terrain of gender inequalities of income, employment and care, and family policy. Examining gender and social policy at both the regional and national level, the Handbook is an excellent resource for advanced students and scholars of sociology, political science, women’s studies, policy studies as well as practitioners seeking to understand how gender shapes the contours of social policy and politics.
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Chapter 18: Women, domestic violence and child protection

Silke Meyer


Domestic and family violence (DVF) has become a global public health concern since its initial shift from the private into the public sphere. While policy and law reforms have incorporated a greater understanding of the complex nature of domestic and family violence, government responses mandating victim and child protection continue to operate in silos in many jurisdictions. Domestic and family violence-related child protection interventions have been marked by gendered expectations around parenting and victim-blaming attitudes towards mothers. Women affected by domestic and family violence have been accused of a ‘failure to protect’ their dependent children if they were seen as unable or unwilling to separate from the abusive partner. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on the responsibility of fathers in avoiding child exposure to DFV. This chapter outlines the current landscape of gendered child protection policies and interventions relevant to DVF, together with research evidence supporting the need for holistic interventions and differentiated responses that place greater emphasis on involving abusive fathers in child protection service response.

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