Microsoft PowerPoint - Mother-child relationship - Care Matters

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   Domestic Violence and the Mother-
          Child Relationship                                          Uneven progress in domestic violence
                                                                      Domestic violence as an attack on mother-
                     Dr. Ravi K. Thiara
                                                                       child relationship still a marginalised
           Centre for the Study of Safety and Well-
                                              Well-                    discourse
                being, University of Warwick
                                                                      Separate services replicate fracturing in

                                                                          Abuse tactics that under-mine
                 Gendered issue
 Domestic violence is a gendered issue                              Direct attacks
 BCS - 13% women and 9% men experiencing physical                    Deprivation of possibility of a mothering
                                                                       relationship through child homicide; attacks during
 But when look at most heavily abused, based on frequency             pregnancy resulting in miscarriage; and child
  of attacks, range of forms of violence and severity of injury,
  there is a gendered pattern with women being                           bd ti
  overwhelmingly the most victimised - among those                     My husband had planned with his family to abduct
  subjected to 4 or more incidents, 89% were women and                 my son and take him to Pakistan and that was why
  81% of all incidents were attacks on women. At least 54%             I left. If he takes him then what is left for me in this
  incidents of rape and serious sexual assault are
  perpetrated by a current or former male partner (Walby and Allen
                                                                       country, all my family is in Pakistan…He is still
  2004).                                                               trying to get my son to go and stay with him.

                Abuse tactics….                                                  Abuse strategies…
 Excluding mothers from their children                               Undermining mothers and their parenting
  He hit me in front of him. He used to tell him                          It was so slow I didn’t even notice it was
  things in English in front of me. And he kept                           happening. Because I just thought maybe that
                                                                                            wrong. And
                                                                          my decision was wrong …And from there I
  me b       ll the time i th h
      busy all th ti                    d
                         in the house and
                                                                          suppose I started picking up on everything that
  working part time so that I wouldn’t spend                              he said because it was every time I said
  any time with my son. He used to tell my                                something….
  son wrong things.

              Abuse strategies…                                                   Abuse strategies…
 Insults and accusations of infidelity                             Indirect effects

     He did totally slag me down completely to the                   Disabling women physically
                      time. He d           em
     children all the time He’d just tell ’em things
     that I was opening me legs to other men and I                   ‘Conspiracy of silence’
     was taking drugs and I was doing this and I was                   – Only a minority of women have talked about the
     doing that. And he constantly told them.                            abuse

      What prevented mothers and
                                                                      Mothers and children not talking…
         children from talking
 Hard to talk to children about the past                            Raised bad memories for children
  I do block a lot of my feelings…so I don’t find it easy to talk     It just brings back too much memory. Maybe other people
  about how I’m feeling and things…I think me and (son) are           do like talking to their mum and do like seeing what their
  pretty much the same where he holds things up. He blocks            bad memories were but I’m not a person who likes talking
      g p
  things up.                                                                    y
                                                                      about my bad memories.

 Depression and protecting their children                           Children knowing but protecting mum
  I said to (son) look Mummy’s got to get away from (abuser)          I was a young age, at first I was always talking about it but
  and mummy’s got to be strong. And he said ‘what like that           then because my mum was like ‘oh don’t say anything,
  or like this’ (pointed to arms and head). He knew it was my         don’t say anything’ I think I got used to like not talking
  head. Now for 10 year old to say that I’ve got to sort my           about it. I just blanked it out as if it weren’t happening, so
  head out…                                                           didn’t really talk about it.

                                                                        Consequences for relationship –
  Mothers and children not talking…
                                                                             ‘Absent Presence’
 Communication prevented by the abusive                             Lack of responsibility / accountability by
  partner                                                             abuser
  I never used to get to talk to my mum. Only                        Curtailing mother’s capacity
  when ( b
    h (abuser) l ft
                ) left…. B
                         Because h was lik
                                    he     like                      Child contact/abduction
  dumbo because he could hear everything.                            Continuing issues for mothers and children
  ..So I could never like get to talk to mum                           – ‘symptoms of abuse’ – anger and behavioural
  unless we were out or anything.                                        issues separated from DV
                                                                       – Reduced capacity to parent – depression –
                                                                         couched as ‘mother blaming’

                 Resilience                                       Issue of ‘Readiness’
                                                        Mothers ‘readiness’
                                                         Mothers needed to be ready to embrace the
 Important not to pathologise                            issue of DV themselves, its impact on their
 Resilience and strengths of joint relationship          children, as well as their relationship with
                                                          their children.
 Mothers single most helpful source of
                                                          Because I didn’t admit to myself that we had
  support and help                                        a problem. I think I knew that there
 Relationships as fluid and changing                     were…my son was getting out of control.
                                                          And so I think I knew there was a problem
                                                          but I wasn’t letting anybody in.

               ‘Readiness’…                                            ‘Readiness’…
 Timing and relative stability
                                                         Children’s ‘readiness’ – time with mum and
    If you’d have asked me eight months ago I             helping other children
                         it.          didn t
    might not have done it Because I didn’t want to
    accept myself what was going on I didn’t even
                                                            I wanted to help other children. I wanted to do it
    want to mention his name at that point in time. I
                                                            because it would help me to understand my
    wasn’t strong enough myself to deal with it.
                                                            mum’s feelings and my feelings. And it did help.

               ‘Readiness’…                                            ‘Readiness’…
 Wanting to change things                               Organisational and worker readiness
  …he lied his way through it (CJS) and
  eventually they threw him out. So you know              – Manager support and leadership
      thi             ll d        ll to help
  anything we can really do. .well t h l you              – W k ’ skills and commitment to building
                                                            Workers’ kill   d      it    t t b ildi
  know change things…Judges aren’t my                       relationship
  favourite people. Magistrates. Is it judges or
  magistrates? One of them anyway.

               Concluding                                           Workbooks
                                                 Available from:
 New understandings and strategies for
                                                  Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  intervention which addressing separation of     116 Pentonville Road
       i          London Ontario
  services - e.g. L d O t i model   d l           London N1 9JB
 Requires rethinking policy and practice
                                                  Tel: +44 (0)20 7833 2307
 Beyond parenting programmes and mother-
                                      mother-     Fax: +44 (0)20 7837 2917
  blaming                                         Email:


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