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Children and violence interactions: Exploring intimate partner violence and children's experiences of responses.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2016 (English)In: Child Abuse Review, ISSN 0952-9136, E-ISSN 1099-0852Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While there is a growing research interest in the experiences of children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV), the role of children's social networks, other than the role of mothers, has been little discussed. The aim of this article is to study older children's stories of how they, and the adults in their social networks, respond to IPV. More specifically, we are interested in how older children describe both their own responses when exposed to IPV and responses from adults. This article focuses on the narratives of older children since they are often in a liminal position between adulthood and childhood, which may be consequential for their and others’ responses to violence. The article shows that responses are interactional and that children's responses affect how adults respond. Our analysis suggests that adults are positioning children as either adult‐like and competent or vulnerable, and this impacts significantly on the support that they receive. In our data, there are, however, also examples of middle ways where children are positioned as vulnerable yet capable. This seems linked to children's abilities to communicate their own needs. Although the study sample is limited, our results point to the significance of gender for how children respond. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. ‘Focuses on the narratives of older children since they are often in a liminal position between adulthood and childhood’ Key Practitioner Messages Social network responses can be crucial to the disclosure, ending and continuation of IPV. Awareness of exposure to IPV does not automatically result in responses that are beneficial to children's wellbeing. Professionals need to be better at communicating with the social network. Children's responses are contextual and protection and support should be designed according to children's individually varying needs. ‘Awareness of exposure to IPV does not automatically result in responses that are beneficial to children's wellbeing’ (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, 2016.
Keyword [en]
children witnessing violence; dialogue; intimate partner violence; domesticviolence; responses; social networks
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-134904DOI: 10.1002/car.2438OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-134904DiVA: diva2:1077790
Available from: 2017-03-01 Created: 2017-03-01 Last updated: 2017-03-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Barns relationer i våldets närhet: Respons, positioner och möjligheten till barns röst
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Barns relationer i våldets närhet: Respons, positioner och möjligheten till barns röst
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna avhandling är att utforska barns perspektiv på respons i samband med att de upplever våld i nära relation. Särskild betoning ligger på barnens egna, deras syskons, mor- och farföräldrars och andra vuxnas handlingar och reaktioner. På så sätt är målet att undersöka det relationella sammanhangets betydelse för våldsutsatta barn. Avhandlingens teoretiska ansats utgörs av barndomssociologi, sociologin om detpersonliga livet och positioneringsteori. Avhandlingen består av fyra delarbeten. Artikel I analyserar hur barns röst används i kvalitativ forskning om barn som upplever våld. De följande empiriska artiklarna, som bygger på analyser av kvalitativa intervjuer med 20 barn (11–19 år), undersöker barns erfarenhet av respons i samband med våld. Barnens berättelser visar att det ofta finns personer som känner till våldet och undersöker hur barnen själva, deras syskon (artikel II), mor- och farföräldrar (artikelIV) samt andra vuxna (artikel III) positionernas i barnens berättelser. Resultaten visar att barn upplever och responderar på våld på en rad olika sätt. Även personer i det relationella sammanhanget reagerar olika gentemot det utsatta barnet, vilket kan förstås utifrån att relationer omges av olika förväntningar och att respons är ett interaktionellt fenomen – individer i barnens närhet anpassar sin respons efter hur barnen responderar.Omgivningens respons beskrivs av barnen som hjälpsamma eller ohjälpsamma beroende på hur lyhörd, tillgänglig och nära individen upplevs. Avhandlingen visar vidare på att barnen har ett begränsat handlingsutrymme och endast ett fåtal positioner finns tillgängliga när de upplever våld. De primära positioner de våldsutsatta barnen erbjuds är de som ”sårbart offer”, ”sårbar men kompetent aktör” samt ”vuxenlik och omsorgsgivande aktör”. En nyckelfaktor för att barnen ska få hjälpsam respons är att de positioneras som både sårbara offer och som kompetenta aktörer.

Abstract [en]

The aim with this thesis is to explore children’s perspectives on responses when experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). Special focus is on the children’s own responses, as well as the actions and reactions of their siblings, grandparents and other adults in their proximity. Through this, the objective is to explore the significance of the relational setting for children exposed to IPV. This thesis is inspired by the sociology of childhood and the sociology of personal life. It has also employed positioning theory. The thesis consists of four papers. In article I, the use of children’s voices in qualitative research with children exposed to IPV is discussed. The following empirical papers, who are based on analyses of interviews with 20 children (11–19 years of age), explore children’s experiences of responses when exposed to violence. The children’s stories suggest that there often are people who know about the violence and the articles analyse how children position themselves in their stories, but also how they are positioned by their siblings (article II), their grandparents (article IV) and other adults (article III). Children exposed to IPV may experience the violence differently and respond to the abuse in a variety of ways. Similarly, individuals in the children’s relational setting may respond to the abused children differently, which can be understood on the basis that relationships are surrounded by different expectations and that responses are interactional phenomenon – individuals close to the children partly adapt their response to how the children react to the abuse. Children describe responses from individuals in their relational setting as either helpful or unhelpful, depending on how responsive, accessible and intimate the individual is perceived. The thesis also suggests that the children have a limited room for maneuverer and only a few positions available for them in the aftermath of violence. The primary attainable positions to the children experiencing IPV are the ones as ‘vulnerable victim’, ‘vulnerable but competent actor’, and ‘adult-like and caregiving actor’. A key factor for children to receive helpful responses is being positioned as vulnerable victims and as competent actors simultaneously.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017. 113 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 709
Keyword
children’s voices, intimate partner violence, violence-exposed children, responses, positions, barns röster, våld i nära relation, barn som upplever våld, respons
National Category
Social Work Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Social Psychology Ethnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-134907 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-134907 (DOI)9789176855812 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-03-31, K1, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-03-01 Created: 2017-03-01 Last updated: 2017-03-23Bibliographically approved

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