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Children and Violence Interactions: Exploring Intimate Partner Violence and Children's Experiences of Responses
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Gender Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5235-6111
2016 (English)In: Child Abuse Review, ISSN 0952-9136, E-ISSN 1099-0852Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
children witnessing violence, dialogue, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, responses, social networks
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133140DOI: 10.1002/car.2438OAI: diva2:957417
Available from: 2016-09-01 Created: 2016-09-01 Last updated: 2016-09-13

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Åkerlund, NinaSandberg, Linn J.
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