Domestic Violence, Coercive Control and ‘Risky Parenting'

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Lorraine RADFORD , School of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom
This paper will consider the concept of risk in relation to parenting in the context of domestic violence. Since the ‘discovery’ of violence in families in the nineteenth century and the ‘re-discovery’ associated with the birth of second wave feminism in the 1960s,  definitions of ‘violence’ and ‘child abuse’ have expanded in high income nations. In the UK the official definition of domestic violence has been changed to include the concept of ‘coercive and controlling behaviour’ defined as ‘an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim’ and ‘a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour’. In this paper, Stark’s (2005) concept of coercive control will be applied to fathering in the context of domestic violence. Child care after separation or divorce has become a gendered political issue. The implications of applying the concept of coercive control to fathering for equality, safety and justice in managing violence and risk in post separation relationships between parents and children will be discussed.