Edited by Sheila Shaver
Chapter 18: Women, domestic violence and child protection
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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