The potential role of social and familial networks in shaping the well-being of children in shelters for women survivors of intimate partner violence

Anat Vass*, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Children living in households where severe intimate partner violence (IPV) exists sometimes move with their mothers to shelters for battered women. Although there is an increased interest in research exploring children's exposure to IPV, little is known about children's subjective experiences during their stay in shelters. The present study examines children's views of their disconnection from their social and familial networks during their stay in a shelter. Using qualitative methods, 32 children, ages 7–12 years, who resided in a shelter were interviewed. Thematic analysis was implemented to develop codes and themes. The following five themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) absence of grandparents, (b) worry about older siblings, (c) disconnection from the neighbourhood, (d) missing their house and (e) disconnection from previous school and classmates. Findings suggest that children's disconnection from previous formal and informal networks significantly affected their well-being. The findings are discussed and interpreted in light of selected key concepts of Bronfenbrenner's bioecological model. The limitations of this study are discussed, along with implications for future research, as well as highlights for future intervention.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1100-1109
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Child & Family Social Work published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • children exposed to IPV
  • children in shelters
  • children's networks
  • intimate partner violence
  • social and familial networks
  • women survivors of IPV

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