Season 2 Episode 12: How coercive control harms child safety & wellbeing: An interview with researcher Dr. Emma Katz
For 15 years, the Safe & Together Model has trained professionals in the importance of centering coercive controlling patterns of behaviors if you want to understand the harm domestic abuse perpetrators create for their children & how that is parenting choice. Failures to link coercive control to child abuse & neglect make it easier to blame adult survivors, who are being protective, with failure-to-protect & parental alienation.
The Safe & Together Model's perpetrator pattern-based approach links coercive control in a number of different ways, creating a foundation for a domestic violence-informed practice that helps professionals to partner with survivors and intervene with perpetrators as parents while also mapping the adult survivors attempts to protect children which may not have access to formal services such as police, child protection or counseling because these interventions may not be safe & can create more danger for adult & child survivors.
New research is backing up this approach by exploring how coercive control impacts children directly via multiple pathways to harm. In this episode, Ruth and David talk with Dr Emma Katz, a leading research specialist in the harms caused by perpetrators to mothers and children in the context of domestic abuse. The topics of conversation include:
- How perpetrators of coercive control create danger & harm for their children within relationships & post-separation
- How professionals & systems are failing to assess the parenting of the perpetrator & how that increases the danger for child & adult survivors
- How the language of "child exposed to domestic violence" obscures the multiple ways perpetrators harm children & hides the choices of the perpetrator as a parent
- How coercive control impacts child safety, wellbeing & family functioning in the absence of physical violence
Access Dr. Katz's Research
Dr. Emma Katz Bio
She is a Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Youth at Liverpool Hope University and has won multiple awards for her research, including the Corinna Seith Prize, awarded by Women Against Violence Europe in 2016. Emma has also written for the academic journal Child Abuse Review. Her most recent article, ‘When Coercive Control Continues to Harm Children: Post‐Separation Fathering, Stalking and Domestic Violence’, is now available to read and download, as is her 2016 article ‘Beyond the Physical Incident Model: How Children Living with Domestic Violence are Harmed by and Resist Regimes of Coercive Control’, which is one of the journal’s most viewed articles to date. Alongside these, Emma is releasing a book titled Coercive Control in Children’s and Mothers’ Lives which will be published in early 2022 by Oxford University Press.