This briefing from the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships focuses on the factors that influence children’s views about contact with non-resident fathers in the context of domestic abuse in Scotland.
The research was qualitative with separate in-depth interviews carried out with children and their resident mothers. A total of 18 children and 16 mothers participated. Families were recruited from domestic abuse support services in both the voluntary and statutory sectors.
This research confirms existing findings about the complexity of children’s views about contact with fathers in the context of domestic abuse. It also highlights how contact held significance beyond the relationship children have with their fathers.
In addition to domestic abuse, children’s views on contact were affected by a range of issues related to the changes in their lives following parental separation, including:
- Becoming homeless
- Siblings living apart
- Parents re-partnering
- Wider family