"Frustrated, controlled, confused and mostly helpless": Women's experiences of navigating child contact with an abusive ex-partner (Speaker: Mia Scally)

Event information

START DATE 5 December 2019
START TIME 01:00pm

Room C135, College Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, NW4 4BT

END DATE 5 December 2019
END TIME 02:00pm

Mia Scally (Middlesex University) will present her research on women’s experiences of child contact with abusive ex-partners.

Headshot of Mia ScallyChild contact is often used by fathers to continue intimate partner violence and abuse. This presentation aims to discuss women’s experiences of this, including the emotional labour required from survivors attempting to navigate this.

This presentation incorporates findings from three studies: online accounts from 68 women across two forums (publicly available data), case studies from in-depth interviews with four survivors, and a training workshop with professionals working within the field of child contact & IPVA.

Formal and informal child contact come with their own differing challenges. Both are difficult for survivors to manage safely as a result of the behaviour of their ex-partners. Informal contact often came before formal contact, and usually involved navigating a range of different services, all of which had differing aims, in order to try and ensure the safety of their children. However formal contact arrangements didn’t always result in safer arrangements, with professionals working within the system being perceived to hold gendered beliefs that impacted on the processes and created further trauma for survivors and the children.

Survivor voices and experiences must be taken into account and carefully considered in light of these (and other) findings. The culture within the family court system is having a clear impact on women and children, leading to unsafe contact for all involved.

You can visit our Psychology Blog for information about Mia’s talk.

This is part of the Psychology Department’s 2019-20 Research Seminar Series.

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