Today’s Pen of Domestic Violence Coordinator’s writings indicate the need for separate interviews for victims and abusers.
It is essential that any such asking about domestic violence be carried out with care and sensitivity, and in a way that does not further endanger women and children. Disclosure is not very likely to occur when the woman is in the presence of her abusive partner; as her fear of the possible repercussions would prevent her from revealing any violence. Therefore, joint interviews or joint meetings should be avoided, especially for initial sessions.
The prevailing method of interviewing both parents together to assess the risk to the child appears to be a detriment to determining if domestic violence is present. Given the seemingly strong link between spouse abuse and child abuse, interviewing each parent separately seems always indicated.
Some professionals may be wary of seeing women separately in order to raise the issue of domestic violence, partly fearing that this will be time consuming or might ‘invite’ malicious allegations. However, it is vital that the possibility of separate meetings is explored to ensure effective and safe interventions for women and children.
This article comes from: Making an Impact- Children and Domestic Violence; Marianne Hester, Chris Pearson and Nicola Harwin, p. 131.