More Responsibilities, Less Control: Understanding the Challenges and Difficulties Involved in Mothering in the Context of Domestic Violence

Lapierre, Simon
July 2010
British Journal of Social Work;Jul2010, Vol. 40 Issue 5, p1434
Academic Journal
Limited work has looked specifically at the issue of mothering in the context of domestic violence, and there is a particular dearth of empirical work that focuses on women's experiences of mothering in these circumstances. This article reports the findings of a study that investigated women's experiences of mothering in the context of domestic violence, and is concerned with the challenges and difficulties that abused women face in regard to their mothering. The author argues that these challenges and difficulties arise from the interaction between the particular context created by the violence and the broader institution of motherhood. More specifically, the article focuses on the following two elements: the women's increased sense of responsibility in regard to their children and their loss of control over their mothering. The findings suggest that in order to support these women, professionals need to understand the challenges and difficulties that they face, and to be mindful not to exacerbate the women's sense of responsibility and loss of control.


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