Domestic Violence and the Place of Fear in Mother/Baby Relationships "What Was I Afraid Of ? Of Making It Worse."

Fiona Verity, Fiona Buchanan, Charmaine Power

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    It should come as no surprise that when women who have raised babies in domestic violence come together to discuss the formation of relationships with their babies they raise issues of fear. Yet in current attachment studies about the formation of relationships between women and their babies, knowledge of fear based in lived experiences is undervalued. This article draws on a qualitative study of such experiences to explore ways in which fear impacted on 16 women and their babies. From this study it is discerned that fear impacts in diverse ways on women, babies, and their relationships with each other. Women's experiences show that fear is a complex emotion that cannot be understood outside of context, relations, and subjectivity. Furthermore, fear can be the motivation for protection, whereby actions by women are in the interests of safety of their babies. These insights look beyond attachment theory to the manifestations of and responses to fear identified by women who have raised babies while enduring domestic violence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1817-1838
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
    Volume28
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013

    Keywords

    • anything related to domestic violence < domestic violence
    • attachment < prevention of child abuse < child abuse
    • battered women < domestic violence
    • children exposed to domestic violence < domestic violence

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