Book Review: Making an impact – Children and domestic violence

Marianne Hester et al
Published by Jessica Kingsley
£17.95; ISBN: 1853028444


The dangers and difficulties for children and women affected by domestic violence are well covered in this comprehensive book. It gives detailed information about the range of remedies and assistance available plus entitlement to these, writes Kyria Conner .

The book includes guidelines for professionals and might be especially useful to those seeking guidance and information in supporting clients.

However, a specialist domestic violence services provider would also find it a useful resource because of its range of information.

On the down side, Making an Impact was first published in 2000 so its research and sources are not up-to-date.

Part one defines domestic violence and looks in depth at its impact on women and children. The second part addresses the range of statutory and legal solutions currently available, while part three looks at practice issues. Each chapter ends with a helpful summary.

The authors address complex legal issues and individual rights in an accessible and helpful way.  The tables of pros and cons for civil and criminal legal remedies would be really helpful in supporting women thinking through their options.

I am pleased too that the book highlights the gaps in service provision, particularly the lack of child-centred domestic violence services and suitable therapeutic approaches.

The descriptions of children’s struggles in coming to terms with domestic violence through “acting out” and difficult behaviours provide  a moving  insight into the emotional turmoil they may be trying to manage.

As such it would be enlightening and useful to practitioners. 

Kyria Conner is director of the Woman’s Trust

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