Mothers experience violence and harm in many ways
A growing body of research, informed by mothers, gives us a better understanding of the multiple experiences and harms of violence.
What we know about mother’s experiences
- Mothers’ experiences of being abused are complex and context specific.
- Mothers make attempts to protect themselves and their children from violence and control.
- Mothers’ choices and acts of protection are constrained by their access to resources, the often poor responses they receive from services, the social context (such as race, poverty and disability) and the nature and scope of a father’s control (Laing, 2008).
What we know about multiple types of harm
- Domestic violence comes in different forms including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, social, financial and spiritual violence.
- The harm caused by domestic violence can ripple out, causing ongoing stresses and difficulties for a mother and her family, such as chronic or cyclic homelessness.
- The violence can be debilitating, although mothers can and do recover once they are safe.
- Some mothers will use alcohol and other drugs as a way of coping with the trauma from violence.
Look at the Deluth Power and control wheel to learn more.
Mothers experience violence in their own way. Read their stories at the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research and Safe and Equal. These collections of women's voices show how complicated and overwhelming living with violence can be.
Just because a mother leaves a father does not mean she leaves the violence. Domestic violence, and the harm it causes, does not necessarily end when a mother leaves. For some, the violence and severity of harm may escalate. Women are most likely to be murdered or seriously harmed by an ex-partner in the 12 to 18 months after the relationship has ended.
|Form of violence||Examples of violence|
|Emotional and verbal violence||
|Spiritual and cultural violence||
Version historyBack to top