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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164401 Find in a Library
Title: In the Best Interest of Women and Children: A Call for Collaboration Between Child Welfare and Domestic Violence Constituencies
Journal: Mississippi Voices for Children & Youth  Volume:11  Issue:2  Dated:(March-April 1996)  Pages:11-13
Author(s): S Schechter; J L Edleson
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Ford Foundation
New York, NY 10017
Johnson Foundation
Racine, WI 53403
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article addresses the overlap between movements to protect children and those advocating an end to violence against women and considers the sometimes tense relationship between child welfare workers and battered women's advocates.
Abstract: Domestic violence and child abuse frequently occur in the same family, and children who witness violence within their families may be at risk of developing various developmental problems. Consequently, child welfare and domestic violence programs serve an overlapping population of women and children. Many studies indicate that men who batter their female partners also abuse their children. In addition, it is estimated that between 3.3 and 10 million children in the United States are at risk of witnessing abuse of women each year and that half of these children may also experience abusive treatment themselves. Research shows that males perpetrate the most severe forms of child abuse and that between 43 and 70 percent of battered women eventually end their relationships with violent partners. Although child welfare and protection work is commonly focused on the best interests of children, battered women's advocates argue that these interests are defined to narrowly and that children should keep their mothers safe. On the other hand, the language used in the movement to end violence against women often leaves out the children. Despite tensions between child welfare and battered women's programs, commonalities seem far greater than differences, particularly with regard to battered women's concerns for their children and the importance of supporting the mother-child unit. The experiences of two families are described to illustrate the need for collaboration between child welfare and battered women's services.
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Abused children; Abused women; Abusing parents; Abusing spouses; Battered wives; Child abuse prevention; Child protection services; Child victims; Child welfare; Domestic assault prevention; Female victims; Juvenile victims; Violence prevention
Note: Paper written for a conference on Domestic Violence and Child Welfare: Integrating Policy and Practice for Families, 1994, Racine, Wisconsin
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