Mothering Through Domestic Violence
Lorraine Radford and Marianne Hester
STAR RATING: 3/5
This book makes a good case for showing how current, professional responses to domestic violence serve to undermine mothers and blame them for their own victimisation, writes Ed Robson.
The authors also make a strong case for linking domestic violence against mothers and abuse of children by the same men. One of the simplest messages of the book is also the most important – it is essential for practitioners to always ask about the existence of domestic violence at the outset of any professional relationship, in order to engage victims directly. It is also incumbent upon us to do more to challenge violent men.
For me the book excels when the authors consider post-separation contact with violent men and propose an assessment framework for the risks posed to children and mothers by this process. It is also good when suggesting how to work with women to help them take back control of their lives. But the book could also have considered the issue of how to increase awareness among victims who actively deny that they are experiencing domestic violence.
The book is well researched and cogently argued but its academic style and language make it difficult to wade through. For example, what exactly is “silo thinking”? Sniping references to fathers’ rights groups also detract from the arguments.
Ed Robson works in the voluntary sector