Issues Paper 3, April 2013
Understanding connections and relationships:
Child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and parenting
Authors: Clare Murphy, PhD, Nicola Paton, Pauline Gulliver, PhD, and Janet Fanslow, PhD
This Issues Paper reviews the evidence on the frequency with which intimate partner violence and child maltreatment co-occur. The United States NatSCEV study showed:
- 34% of the children who had witnessed intimate partner violence had also been subjected to direct maltreatment in the past year, compared to 9% of those who had not witnessed intimate partner violence.
- Over their lifetimes, over half of those (57%) who had witnessed intimate partner violence were also maltreated, compared to 11% of those who had not witnessed intimate partner violence.
- Men were more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence incidents that were witnessed by children than were women, with 68% of children witnessing violence only by men.
Exposure to violence can have ongoing negative impacts on children and young people’s health, education, social and economic wellbeing.
Recommendations from this paper include the need for greater recognition of:
- The links between child maltreatment and intimate partner violence
- The detrimental effects of children’s exposure to intimate partner violence
- The disruption to mother-child relationships due to intimate partner violence
- The poor fathering that can accompany perpetration of intimate partner violence
This needs to translate to greater understanding of the importance of supporting children’s relationships with the non-abusive parent. This work needs to include creating conditions of safety, and may need to include active work to help restore relationships between non-abusive parents and their children. Work to address poor fathering is also necessary.
NZFVC Issues Paper 4, Policy and practice implications: Child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and parenting, explores the system responses required to support children exposed to intimate partner violence.
Note: The Clearinghouse is co-hosting a one-day conference, Children, Child maltreatment and intimate partner violence: Research, policy and practice on 5 June 2013. Speakers include Professor Jeff Edleson, one of the world's leading authorities on children exposed to domestic violence. The full programme and registration information is now available.
Murphy, C., Paton, N., Gulliver, P., & Fanslow, J. (2013). Understanding connections and relationships: Child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and parenting Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, The University of Auckland.
ISSN: 2253-3222, published online only