Conclusion – Linking
the Three Planets
Writing this book has been a long process, evolving over some years from research into a number of facets of the 'three planets' (Hester 2004) we discussed in the previous chapter. Our ideas and our interest in this area of work are still very much 'work in progress' and it would be premature to offer conclusions in the conventional sense. We will, however, return to the issues we raised in the introductory chapter and hope that readers will draw on their own knowledge and expertise to take these ideas further.
In writing this book, we have wanted to challenge mother blaming and re-focus attention from women's failures on to gender entrapment and how domestic violence perpetrators try to undermine women's relationships with children. Practitioners need to be aware of the complex and often hidden or 'normalized' ways in which domestic violence perpetrators actively continue their power and control over women and children. They need to consider the possibility of maltreatment and abuse to children where mothers are being abused and, vice versa, that mothers may be being abused where there is evidence of child maltreatment and abuse. Without asking about domestic violence, it may be unlikely that practitioners will know that domestic violence is an issue for the women and children concerned.
In drawing attention to the overlap between the perpetrator's domestic violence and his abuse and neglect of children, we do not claim that women who live with violent men are never neglectful or themselves abusive to their children. Research suggests that abused women are as likely as non-abused women to be violent or neglectful towards their children (Graham-Bermann