1st Edition

Responding to Domestic Violence Difficult Conversations

    138 Pages
    by Routledge

    138 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book reflects on the problem of domestic violence by thinking critically about policy and practice responses. Moving beyond accounts of men’s violence embedded in metaphors of ‘good’ and ‘bad men’, or as the expressions of particular structures and practices, it initiates challenging conversations concerning the ways in which our embeddedness in gendered discourses shapes the responses that we imagine are possible and desirable.

    Innovative in its embrace of feminist poststructural theorising to both challenge and enrich responses to men’s use of domestic violence, each chapter is dedicated to exploring a particular area of tension, unpicking the tangles and knots of complexity that characterise much domestic violence policy and practice. Case studies ground the chapters, providing a focus for thinking through the dilemmas, challenges, and contested nature of ideas, meanings, and practices in this space. Rather than presenting easy answers, each chapter provides a forum for the exploration of ambiguity and complexity – to acknowledge the discomfort and sit with this, not rush to resolve it. Situated within this contested, uncomfortable terrain, this book presents a small – but important – step towards a reimagining of the ways in which we think about and respond to domestic violence.

    It will be of interest to scholars and students of gender studies, sociology, health, and social care.

    1.Introduction.  2.Violence and vulnerability: Who does what to whom?  3.Perpetrators and accountability: Invisible or ignored?  4.Men’s change: Who is doing the work?  5.Why doesn’t she leave?  6.What about the kids?  7.Why doesn’t he leave?  8.Conclusion.


    Kate Seymour is a Senior Lecturer and founding member of the Social Work Innovation Research Living Space (SWIRLS) at Flinders University. Widely recognised for her contribution to the critical study of masculinities and men’s violence, her research spans the fields of social work and criminology reflecting her experience as an academic across both disciplines. She is a skilled qualitative researcher with a background in direct social work practice and management including in the areas of adult offending and work with male perpetrators of domestic and family violence.

    Sarah Wendt is Professor of Social Work and Director of the Social Work Innovation Research Living Space (SWIRLS) at Flinders University. As a leading Australian researcher on domestic violence and social work practice, her work centres on both the gendered nature and lived experience of domestic and family violence, with a focus on practice and policy change. She is the author and co-editor of Domestic Violence in Diverse Contexts: Re-examining Gender and Contemporary Feminisms in Social Work Practice, both published by Routledge.

    Kristin Natalier is Associate Professor of Sociology at Flinders University. She is a leading Australian researcher on familial relationships and organisational and policy responses to family change. Her work centres on the gendered nature of familial and intimate relationships as, both, lived experiences and sites of policy intervention.