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Legal issues

I recently co-wrote two issues papers that address children’s exposure to intimate partner abuse. They’re available here and here.

The first paper is titled Understanding connections and relationships: Child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and parenting and it explores:

  • The links between child maltreatment and intimate partner violence
  • The detrimental effects of children’s exposure to intimate partner violence
  • The disruption to mother-child relationships due to intimate partner violence
  • The poor fathering that can accompany perpetration of intimate partner violence

The second paper is titled Policy and practice implications: Child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and parenting and it explores:

The responses required by systems such as the family court, child protection services, to support children. Five of the guiding principles for protecting children and adults who are exposed to child maltreatment and intimate partner violence include:

  • Provide holistic support for children
  • Support the non-abusing parent
  • Support the mother-child relationship
  • Hold the perpetrator accountable
  • Be culturally responsive

Other key messages in the second paper include:

Children’s safety and wellbeing is highly dependent on the quality of their bond with their non-abusive parent (most often the mother). Programmes to support mothers and children need to include a focus on supporting them to strengthen or re-establish their relationship, which may have been damaged by exposure to violence.

Parenting programmes for fathers who have used violence need to emphasise the need to end violence against their children’s mothers (they cannot be “a lousy partner but a good dad”).

There needs to be adequately resourced services to support children, adult victim/survivors and perpetrators. These services need to work in co-ordinated and collaborative ways, as part of multi-agency response systems, and work from a sophisticated understanding of intimate partner violence.

The United States Centers for Disease Control have identified safe, stable, and nurturing relationships as fundamental in supporting children to thrive. Exposure to intimate partner violence and the impact of violence on the parenting children receive need to become key areas of work in responding to ‘vulnerable children’.

You can download both papers at the following links:

Murphy, Clare., Paton, Nicola., Gulliver, Pauline., Fanslow, Janet. (2013). Understanding connections and relationships: Child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and parenting. Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, The University of Auckland.

Murphy, Clare., Paton, Nicola., Gulliver, Pauline., Fanslow, Janet. (2013). Policy and practice implications: Child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and parenting. Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, The University of Auckland.

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Tactic #9 — Using Social Institutions and Social Prejudices

by Clare Murphy PhD 15 February 2013

This is the ninth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Using Social Institutions and Social Prejudices. Many perpetrators of psychological abuse use social, health, legal and other institutions such as child protection services as arenas to further their coercive control over their intimate partner. They use […]

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Language women should use in the Family Court

by Clare Murphy PhD 14 April 2010

Many women feel like failures because they have not stopped the man they love from psychologically abusing and controlling them Most women who attend counselling – to come to terms with their partner’s psychologically abusive and controlling behaviours – often beat up on themselves saying: “I let it happen” and “I feel like I’ve failed”. Women […]

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Abusers gain custody of children

by Clare Murphy PhD 20 February 2010

This blog has been revised because the video I wanted readers to see has been removed from the internet, so I’ve left this short blog post here so that all the comments can remain. Previously I introduced a video on PBS video to hear children talking about the impact of domestic violence and the failure […]

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Power and control: Lawyer-client relationship

by Clare Murphy PhD 27 June 2009

A power and control wheel has been developed as a tool for recognising abuse and psychological assault by lawyers against their clients. This Lawyer-Client wheel was motivated firstly by the book Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture by Marc Galanter, and secondly, by the State Bar of Texas ethics rules (which reflect ethics […]

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