Policy Briefing 6: Responding to Domestic Violence and its Impact on Women and Children

Kenny, B. (2000). Policy Briefing 6: Responding to Domestic Violence and its Impact on Women and Children. https://knowledge.barnardos.ie/handle/20.500.13085/849
Considering the extent to which the reality of domestic violence has been recognised over the past twenty-five years, it is somewhat surprising that more attention has not been given to its effects on children. Certainly, over the same period there has been increased acknowledgement of, and concern about, the effects of physical and sexual abuse of children but this has tended not to include the effects on them of witnessing violence perpetrated by one parental partner on the other. This is exemplified in the relatively small body of international research conducted into this aspect of family violence. Many of the studies that have been carried out have had the long-term effects of the violence on children in their adult lives as their focus, rather than its contemporaneous impacts. It is difficult to know why this should be the case. Perhaps it reflects a wider malaise of different social concerns being studied in isolation from one another with a resultant failure to appreciate their inter-relatedness. The general absence of a developed connection between substance abuse and child welfare concerns is a further case in point. It is partly to overcome this compartmentalisation of family violence that Barnardos has compiled this paper. We also hope that the paper’s review of the issue and such research as has been conducted will serve to promote an informed debate of the relevant issues and, hopefully, may serve as a stimulus to action in the form of the development of effective services.