Are Men Who Use Violence
Against Their Partners and Children
Good Enough Fathers?
The Need for an Integrated Child Perspective
in Treatment Work with Men
This chapter will address an important question often neglected in the debate about how men's violence against their partners and children can be ended. Many men who use violence against their partner are also fathers. Is it possible to be a good father and a violent husband at the same time?
Violence against women and children represents a violation of both basic human rights and principles of gender equality. The women's movement and shelters for battered women have historically been the main agents for documenting the existence of violence against women and the magnitude of its impact as both a health and a social problem (Dobash and Dobash 1979; Mullender 1996). During the last few years, some of the Nordic countries have conducted national surveys that show violence against women and children to be of epidemic proportions (Heiskanen and Piispa 1998; Lundgren et al. 2001). Domestic violence is present to such a degree that it can be identified as a characteristic feature of our society with huge economic costs in terms of the medical and psychological problems it causes (Walby 2004). This has been well documented in the research