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The Batterer as Parent

The Batterer as Parent
Addressing the Impact of Domestic Violence on Family Dynamics

Second Edition

September 2011 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Moving beyond the narrow clinical perspective sometimes applied to viewing the emotional and developmental risks to battered children, The Batterer as Parent: Addressing the Impact of Domestic Violence on Family Dynamics, Second Edition offers a view that takes into account the complex ways in which a batterer's abusive and controlling behaviors are woven into the fabric of daily life. This book is a guide for therapists, child protective workers, family and juvenile court personnel, and other human service providers in addressing the complex impact that batterers—specifically, male batterers of a domestic partner when there are children in the household—have on family functioning. In addition to providing an understanding of batterers as parents and family members, the book also supplies clearly delineated approaches to such practice issues as assessing risk to children (including perpetrating incest), parenting issues in child custody and visitation evaluation, and impact on children's therapeutic process and family functioning in child protective practice.

1. The Battering Problem
Defining Batterers

Characteristics of Batterers

Misconceptions About Batterers


2. Power Parenting: The Batterer's Style With Children
Typical Characteristics of Batterers as Parents

Effects on Children of Exposure to Domestic Violence

Child Abuse

The Batterer as Role Model

Children's Outlook on the Batterer


3. Shock Waves: The Batterer's Impact on the Home
Undermining of the Mother's Authority

Effects on Mother-Child Relationships

Use of Children as Weapons Against the Mother

The Batterer's Impact on Other Aspects of Family Functioning

Resilience in Mother-Child and in Sibling Relationships


4. The Batterer as Incest Perpetrator
Review of Studies

The Predatory Child Molester Versus the Incest Perpetrator

Shared Tactics of Batterers and Incest Perpetrators

Shared Attitudes of Batterers and Incest Perpetrators

Implications of the Overlap for Professional Response

Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody and Visitation Disputes


5. Impeding Recovery: The Batterer as Parent Postseparation
Creating a Context for Children's Healing

Batterers' Postseparation Conduct With Children

Batterers' Motivations for Seeking Custody or Increased Visitation

Batterers' Advantages in Custody Disputes

Batterers' Tactics in Custody and Visitation Disputes

Effects on Children of Custody Litigation


6. The Mismeasure of Batterers as Parents: A Critique of Prevailing Theories and Assessment
Influential Theories of Divorce

The Use of a Domestic Violence Typology to Assess Risk to Children

Risk to Children: The Overlooked Implications of Johnston, Campbell, and Roseby's Own Observations


7. Supporting Recovery: Assessing Risk to Children From Batterers and Structuring Visitation
Sources of Risk to Children From Unsupervised Contact With Batterers

A Guide to Assessing Risk to Children From Batterers

Structuring Custody and Visitation


8. Is It Real? Assessing and Fostering Change in Batterers as Parents
Steps to Change in Batterers

Misconceptions Regarding Change in Batterers

Evaluating Change in Batterers as Parents

Creating a Context for Change


9. Improving Community Responses to the Parenting of Batterers
Children's Advocates, Child and Family Therapists, and Programs for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

Custody Evaluators

Family Courts

Child Protection Systems and Courts With Protective Jurisdiction

Parent Trainers

Psychological Evaluators

Batterer Programs and Fatherhood Programs

Battered Women's Programs

Supervised Visitation Centers

Family Lawyers and Bar Associations

Police Departments



About the Authors

"This highly readable, excellent text will serve professionals and students in varied fields who come into contact with families exposed to battering. The background and experiences of the authors are a major strength informing the book. The text is chock full of essential information gleaned from extensive clinical practice. A second major strength is their focus on family climate and dynamics influenced by the batterer, rather than approaching the child-parent relationship in terms of discrete incidents that may have been witnessed by the child. This approach resonates with my clinical experience, while much current research still uses an incident-based approach. I have one leg in the clinical practice world and the other in research/teaching, and from my vantage point it is exciting to read clinical wisdom and experiences summarized thematically that can inspire highly relevant empirical research. I would certainly purchase a copy of the Second Edition for my own professional use, and I wish that it were required reading for professionals intervening with children exposed to batterers, particularly chills welfare professionals."

Amy Chanmugam
University of Texas Austin
Key features

New to this Edition:

  • Increased focus on diversity with updates on race and culture infused throughout and on the child's perspective.
  • Expanded discussion of parental alienation theories.

Features and Benefits:

  • Detailed descriptions of the family dynamics engendered by domestic violence.
  • Analysis provided of the well-established overlap between battering and incest perpetration.
  • Grounded in very extensive clinical experience with authors who have been involved as counselors, supervisor of other counselors, custody evaluators, and researchers in the cases of over 2,000 men who batter.
  • Detailed and specific recommendations included for a wide range of practitioners, including domestic violence professionals, therapists, custody evaluators, family court personnel, juvenile court personnel, child protective personnel, parent educators, and visitation supervisors

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483342108

ISBN: 9781412972055

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