Moving beyond the narrow clinical perspective sometimes applied to viewing the emotional and developmental risks to battered children, The Batterer as Parent: Addressing the Impact of Domestic Violence on Family Dynamics, Second Edition offers a view that takes into account the complex ways in which a batterer’s abusive and controlling behaviors are woven into the fabric of daily life. This book is a guide for therapists, child protective workers, family and juvenile court personnel, and other human service providers in addressing the complex impact that batterers—specifically, male batterers of a domestic partner when there are children in the household—have on family functioning. In addition to providing an understanding of batterers as parents and family members, the book also supplies clearly delineated approaches to such practice issues as assessing risk to children (including perpetrating incest), parenting issues in child custody and visitation evaluation, and impact on children's therapeutic process and family functioning in child protective practice.
Chapter 8: Is It Real?: Assessing and Fostering Change in Batterers as Parents
Is It Real?: Assessing and Fostering Change in Batterers as Parents
Professionals in various capacities may find themselves called upon to assess change in a batterer's capacity to be a safe and responsible parent. Improvement in the parenting of a batterer is inseparable from his progress in overcoming his abuse toward partners, as his problematic behaviors toward children spring primarily from the same source (see Chapter 1). Although assessing change in a batterer's parenting also involves attention to important additional areas (as we will see below), the first step usually if not always involves addressing the underlying behaviors and attitudes of his pattern of abuse.
A batterer may tell a custody evaluator, “I used to have ...