Children’s experiences of domestic violence highlighted in public talk
The talk, by Dr Jane Callaghan, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Northampton, will take place at Broadcasting Place from 3 – 4.30pm. Attendance is free, but places must be booked at http://childrendv.eventbrite.co.uk.
Dr Jane Callaghan will present her powerful and highly evocative findings from her EU research on children’s experience of domestic violence across Europe. Based on interviews with 100 children in the UK, Greece, Italy and Spain, her team’s project explored the experiences of children, focusing on their capacity to cope, resist and maintain a sense of agency (control) as they live with the experience of domestic violence.
Dr Callaghan said: “In literature and professional practice, children who experience domestic violence are typically described in passive terms – as ‘witnesses’, ‘exposed to’ or ‘impacted by’ domestic violence. This denies a space in which their own experiences can be articulated, framing them instead as ‘collateral damage’ of adult abusive relationships.
“Psychological accounts in particular describe children affected by domestic violence in terms of psychological abnormality, damaged by the violence they witness, and experiencing a range of negative consequences including mental health problems, problematic personal relationships, and poor educational and economic outcomes.
“While we recognise the importance of understanding the hurt, disruption and damage that domestic violence can cause children, in our study, we have explored other possible ways of talking about and thinking about the lives of young people who have experienced domestic violence. We have explored how young people use space and embodied experience as resources to support their construction of resistant and resilient identities.”
Dr Bridgette Rickett, Principal Lecturer at Leeds Beckett and organiser of the event, added: “Jane’s research explores the gendered nature of childhood experience and how this is ‘embodied’ and has ‘agency’; two areas of thinking that the Centre for Applied Social Research (CeASR) here at Leeds Beckett aims to strengthen and develop through our public seminar programme. In addition, the implications from Jane’s research strongly reflect both CeASR’s and Leeds Beckett’s aims to produce useful, applied research by directly furthering thinking and informing practice around childhood and domestic violence intervention and prevention.”