Living in the red zone: The experience of child-to-mother violence

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Child and Family Social Work, 2008, 13 (4), pp. 464 - 473
Issue Date:
2008-11-01
Metrics:
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Child-to-mother violence is an area of family violence that has received limited attention over the past 20 years but is a problem for many families. It is poorly understood in the community and this lack of understanding creates a basis for families and service providers to minimize the abused mothers' experience. This paper is drawn from a larger study that aimed to explore child-to-mother violence in a high-risk geographical area and describes a qualitative theme developed from 185 participating women's narratives, 'Living in the red zone': the experience of child-to-mother violence. The red zone refers to danger and was an element throughout women's narratives. It is clear from the reflections of these women that child-to-mother violence is a significant and complex issue. Mothers were predominantly struggling in silence with their experiences of a child or children whose behaviour was threatening and/or abusive. Their experiences were most often minimized and/or devalued by family and community members, which may prevent affected women from seeking support. Mothers generally had limited concepts of the possibilities open to them to improve their situation, or limited access to appropriate and empathic individuals or services. © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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