Abstract: Children live in different contexts of protection and vulnerability when exposed to domestic violence. The negative impacts for many children are consistent and widely acknowledged. However, the implication that this requires men who use violence to address their fathering has been slower to emerge. This article draws from 69 in‐depth qualitative interviews with men, women, and workers across four men’s behaviour change programmes in rural Victoria, Australia. Particular attention is given to men’s attitudes to their fathering and the formal and informal consequences they experienced as a result of their violence and its impact on their fathering. Although most men came to recognize that their violence impacted their children, they failed to make the connection that the involvement of statutory child protection services in their lives was a direct consequence of their abusive behaviour. This article explores this disconnection by fathers who use violence, their attitude to the involvement of statutory child protection services, and identifies the implications for social work practitioners in addressing this issue.
Researchers: Smith, J. & Humphreys, C.