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A multitheoretical perspective for addressing domestic and family violence: Supporting fathers to parent without harm
journal contributionposted on 2022-12-14, 04:18 authored by Emma Gatfield, Patrick O’Leary, Silke MeyerSilke Meyer, Kathleen Baird
Summary Domestic and family violence remains a significant challenge to family wellbeing. The risk of serious harm from domestic and family violence is disproportionally carried by women and children, yet often the complex reality of family life means that many families have ongoing contact with their abusers. Responses to this problem are frequently siloed across child protection and specialist domestic violence services, leading to a lack of holistic intervention. More recently, there has been increased attention on addressing the role and behavior of abusive fathers, especially where fathers remain in families or have ongoing contact postseparation through coparenting. This paper offers a systemic approach for understanding and addressing such amilies. Findings An integrated theoretical framework is proposed, which draws together key tenets of feminism, family violence, and intersectional theories within a systems-oriented model. It frames families, inclusive of fathers, within their eco-social contexts, highlighting factors that exacerbate domestic and family violence, and those that increase family safety, which has strong applications for social work practice. Applications An integrated theoretical framework offers an approach for social workers for understanding domestic and family violence in a broad-based and holistic manner, and for developing coordinated family focused interventions while concurrently addressing related child welfare concerns and family safety. A range of considerations for case management of families are explored, which, while relevant to most intact families or those who have continuing contact with perpetrators, holds particular relevance for marginalized families that present with complex needs and experiences of disadvantage.
Number of Pages20