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Journal Article


Izaguirre A, Cater Å. J. Interpers. Violence 2018; 33(24): 3711-3731.


Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.


(Copyright © 2018, SAGE Publishing)






Witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) may have damaging effects on children's well-being and development. How children understand IPV affects the risk of their developing negative outcomes. Talking with children about the violent episodes they have experienced can change their beliefs regarding their parents' IPV, and therefore may also be a way to help them deal with these adverse experiences. The purpose of the current study was to use the children's narratives to explore the relationship between how IPV was perceived by the children and their experience of talking about it. Interviews with 31 children between 9 and 13 years of age were analyzed using a thematic method. Two main groups of children were identified: children who described the violence as a horrifying experience and children who preferred not to think about the violence. The findings showed that children who described the violence as a horrifying experience perceived talking about the violence as a positive, yet sometimes distressing, experience that made a real difference in their lives; whereas, children who preferred not to think about the violence did not see much need to talk about it and benefit from talking about it. The study confirms previous research indicating that talking about IPV experiences sometimes leads to feelings of relief in children. Thereby, professionals play an important role by providing an appropriate setting to help children reduce their distressing feelings.

© The Author(s) 2016.

Language: en


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