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Naming the unmentionable: How children exposed to intimate partner violence articulate their experiences

Journal article
Authors Anna Georgsson
Kjerstin Almqvist
Anders G Broberg
Published in Journal of Family Violence
Volume 26
Issue 2
Pages 117-129
ISSN 0885-7482
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 117-129
Language en
Keywords intimate partner violence, children’s perspective, interviews, thematic analysis
Subject categories Psychology


Witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) is a frightening experience that affects children’s development and well-being. This study examines experiences of IPV from the perspective of children. Interviews with 14 children between 8 and 12 years old were analyzed using a thematic method. Three main themes were identified: how children talked about abuse of their mother, described their own actions, and related to or handled memories of violence. Most children confirmed that their mother had been the victim of abuse, but had difficulties describing these experiences. Narratives were often incoherent and difficult to fully understand. In contrast, most of the children seemed to find it easier to describe their own actions during violence and conflicts. Not thinking about IPV was a strategy that aimed at reducing unwanted memories; it is also a strategy that may obstruct creating a narrative.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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