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Separation Assault in the Context of Postdivorce Parenting

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 8 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2002 Pages: 597-625
Jennifer L Hardesty
Date Published
29 pages
Woman abuse in the post-divorce context, particularly how post-divorce parenting is affected, are examined in this study of literature.
The study's goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of how woman abuse can be woven invisibly through women's lives in terms of its absence from traditional researchers investigations of family, health, and divorce, which do not include how each relates to violence against women. Theoretical explanations for separation assault in general and in the context of post-divorce parenting are reviewed and critiqued, with research and practice implications explored. It is noted that woman abuse does not end with separation or divorce. In fact, separated and divorced women may experience more abuse than married women do because of their dependency, high risk of availability, and low protection. Women with children are particularly vulnerable to further assault as it is more difficult for them to sever relations with their abuser. Power and control issues on the part of the abuser are factors that are heightened when a woman separates or divorces her abuser. As a consequence, the legal system needs to adequately safeguard women and their children from further abuse by the father, but is not found to do so due to the lack of awareness of legal professionals of the complexities of women abuse in general and separation assault in particular. It is recommended that further research is needed to learn to what effect recent laws designed to protect women from further abuse and to defend their rights when divorcing abusive partners or after separation are effective; that future research needs to provide a more comprehensive understanding by studying distinct areas of a woman's life and experience as a victim of abuse; and more empirical evidence is needed to promote change in the legal system. References


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