Child Abuse and Domestic
Violence in the Context of Parental
Separation and Divorce
New Models of Intervention
An understanding of the relationship between child abuse, domestic violence and parental separation and divorce has been slow to develop, perhaps because of the confrontational issues involved. Parental separation and divorce are emotionally charged areas as are child abuse and domestic violence. Accepting that there is a relationship between all areas appears to have been difficult. The myth that child abuse and domestic violence in this context are merely allegations manufactured by one parent seeking a tactical advantage over the other in their intimate partnership dispute has obscured the reality of the relationship between child abuse, domestic violence and parental separation. It has delayed the achievement of much needed and more detailed knowledge.
However, recent improvements in understanding this relationship have led to the emergence of a number of new models of inter-organisational intervention for services working with children and their families on problems of child abuse and domestic violence in the context of parental separation and divorce. This chapter develops the theme of Christine Harrison's chapter (Chapter 9) in presenting perspectives on the role of child abuse and domestic violence (two types of family violence) in parental separation and divorce and some new programmes of intervention. In addition, principles to underpin the development of new