Violence might increase post-separation, and visitation can offer an opportunity to the perpetrator for maintaining power and control over the mother and child. In relationships where intimate partner violence (IPV) exists, it is hypothesized that fathers may continue their violent behaviors throughout visitation with children. The study uses mixed methods: After completing of a screening questionnaire (n=593) we recruited 168 individuals from our sample with problematic child custody cases who completed an online survey. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 mothers with experience of problematic child custody cases. The findings highlight how custody and visitation rights may be used as a form of custodial violence and a continuation of IPV. Problematic child custody and visitation cases were reported following separation from an abusive partner using legal proceedings as a weapon to maintain power and control over the former partner and child. Institutions involved in custody and contact-related legal procedures do not take into consideration the violence of the abusive ex-partner as a factor when determining custody and contact arrangements, even though it may work in opposition to the child’s wellbeing. The analysis of the data shows that child custody and visitation arrangements did not reflect clear understanding of domestic violence, coercive control and the effects of these on children’s welfare. Fathers were reported to be able to control the everyday lives of their ex-partners and their children through lack of institutional recognition of domestic violence.
A cikk nyelve angol, jelenleg megjelenés alatt.