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The Gap: women’s and men’s perspectives on parenting in the context of domestic violence

Domestic violence is a significant issue within New Zealand society. The purpose of this research was to explore parenting within the context of domestic violence, through men’s perspectives, as perpetrators of domestic violence, and women’s perspectives, as victims of domestic violence. The participants were recruited through their association with the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project (HAIP), a coordinated community response to violence. The study aimed to gain understanding of the impact of violence on children, women, mothering and the batterer as parent; provide reflection on the men’s stopping violence programme at HAIP in relation to abusive men’s parenting; and examine the role of children in abusive men’s motivation to change. Nine semi-structured interviews with men attending HAIP’s stopping violence programmes were conducted, and two focus groups were held with ten women associated with HAIP. The key findings suggest that domestic violence has significant detrimental outcomes for children and women and significantly constrains women’s ability to be an effective mother. The men were found to use negative parenting practices but to have limited understanding of the impact of their behaviour on either mother or child. The women reported various ways in which they were able to work around the abuser to protect their children and to be effective as a mother, at least some of the time. Although women generally supported the continuing involvement of the fathers in the lives of their children, such involvement often served to disrupt the process of healing from the violence for both children and women. This study provides recommendations for policy and practice with regard to fathering interventions for abusive men.
Type of thesis
Troon, C. L. (2014). The Gap: women’s and men’s perspectives on parenting in the context of domestic violence (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8727
University of Waikato
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