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Journal Article


Wagner J, Jones S, Tsaroucha A, Cumbers H. Child Abuse Rev. 2019; 28(1): 39-51.


(Copyright © 2019, John Wiley and Sons)






Practitioners' preconceived ideas about service users can lead to prejudice and labelling, and ultimately may result in biased services. This paper reports on a UK-based qualitative research study exploring the views and experiences of practitioners working with adult victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. It examines whether or not practitioners believe that childhood experiences of witnessing domestic violence indicate the likelihood of domestic violence in adulthood. It further explores practitioners' perceptions of factors contributing to the experiences of domestic violence amongst their service users. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with practitioners working in the domestic violence field, and thematic analysis was used to analyse their responses. The data did not indicate a general consensus on the matter of children becoming victims or perpetrators based on their childhood experiences of domestic violence. Participants' responses indicated that they thought the issue was more complex. Common themes that participants consider important to children's development of healthy/unhealthy relationships in this context were identified in the data. These included: an awareness of service users' individuality; the importance of meaningful support networks; and an understanding of the risk amongst their service users to normalise abusive behaviour. '[Explores] the views and experiences of practitioners working with adult victims and perpetrators of domestic violence' Key Practitioner Messages Not all children witnessing domestic violence will inevitably become victims or perpetrators of abuse in adulthood. Perpetrating domestic violence in adulthood is often associated with a combination of various factors and circumstances, and can rarely be attributed to just one past experience. Assessments and holistic and judgement-free services provided by practitioners are vital for children to develop positive and healthy future relationships.

Language: en


childhood experiences; domestic abuse; domestic violence; intergenerational transmission of violence


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