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A Review of "Women and Children at Risk: A Feminist Perspective on Child Abuse" Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Allison, United States Jul 18, 2005
Child & Youth Rights , Peace & Conflict , Human Rights   Opinions


“Black women who involved state child-protection agencies, reported feeling ‘disempowered and devalued.’ When impoverished women call upon the system for help, they run the greatest risk of having their [children] removed from them: children whose parents have a family income of $15,000 or less are twenty-two times as likely to be removed from their mothers as children in households with incomes above $30,000” (Fisher-Hertz, 2003; p. 492).

How can mothers keep pretending that everything is okay, that they are functioning “normally” with their families, that they are continuing to do their “job” well with violence in the home? Nor should mothers have to continue like everything is fine when they can’t even protect their child, let alone themselves.

Men who batter their wives are likely to assault their children. The battering of women who are mothers usually predates the infliction of child abuse. At least half of all battering husbands also batter their children. The more severe the abuse of the mother, the worse the child abuse.

Abuse of children by a batterer is more likely when the marriage is dissolving, the couple has separated, and the husband/father is highly committed to continued dominance and control of the mother and children. When a woman has separated from her batterer and is seeking to establish autonomy and independence from him, the batterer's struggle to control and dominate her may increase and he may turn to abusing and subjugating the children as a tactic of dominance and control of their mother.

*Fontes, Lisa Aronson. Ethics in Family violence research: Cross-Cultural Issues.

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