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Family law proceedings, intimate partner violence, and children's victimization at school
Mälardalens högskola.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7261-6643
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Objectives: What do practices of family law professionals and school staff mean for children’s vulnerability and victimization at school? While there has been considerable discussion of issues about child protection and the cooperation between school and social services in that context, studies on the intersection between school and family law proceedings seem virtually non-existent. This is also the case when it comes to family law proceedings, school and different forms of childhood adversity. The paper explores how family law proceedings in cases involving intimate partner violence impact on school and how school staff tackle the issue of violence and family law.

Methods: The empirical material consists of qualitative interviews with a sample of pre-school/school staff, individually or in groups, and a questionnaire to school head teachers and pre-school managers. In total 12 interviews were carried out with 22 interviewees from different staff categories. The questionnaire was sent out to 110 pre-schools and 110 schools in two Swedish counties (response rate 51 and 65 percent respectively). The analysis both concerns the children exposed to violence who are the objects of family law disputes, and the vulnerability of other children at school.

Results: The analysis shows that children’s victimization at school can be due to actions by court staff, family law social workers and school staff, in addition to actions by parents. The problematic practices range from actions with victimizing effects, such as the neglect of children’s possible fear due to previous experiences of violence, or the invalidation experiences of violence, to outright dangerousness as when leaving children and their mothers without protection. In the worst case scenario, these practices enable further violence, possibly even lethal violence. Further violence may also be witnessed by other children present at school.

Conclusion: The examples found in the data sets make it clear that it is not just the children who are the objects of a family law dispute that are subjected to victimizing practices at school, but other children as well. An issue raised by the analysis presented here is the question as to whether the concept of children “witnessing” violence as crime victims in their own right – well established in Swedish policy today - should be expanded to include also children who witness violence against their peers or their peers’ parents at school.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Sociology Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-6000OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-6000DiVA: diva2:1107591
Conference
The 9th BASPCAN conference, Edinburgh 12-15th of April 2015.
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2017-06-09 Last updated: 2017-09-15

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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