Contesting family-based violence: sole parenting possibilities and alternatives

Found in: Resources on violence against women and girls

Contesting family-based violence: sole parenting possibilities and alternatives

 

In a recent paper published in the Journal of Family Studies, Genine Hook argues that the intersection of masculine entitlement and compulsory heteronormativity combines with gendered norms and social constructions of deficit for sole parent families to limit and problematise the capacity for women to build lives with their children that are free from violence.  The author is careful not to minimise the risks, as heightened threats and violence are common within the separation process, nor does she downplay the structural impediments to separation such as financial, housing and childcare limitations. Rather, she seeks ‘to examine the overlapping social systems that operate to perpetuate family-based violence including the deficit discourse of sole parenting which tends to minimise this as an option.’

The researcher argues that when we fail to recognise sole parent families as possibilities for and constituting a ‘liveable life’ then an erasure of choice and diversity within family form occurs. She concludes that negative and deficit constructions of sole parent families contributes to ‘creating conditions that can create and maintain family-based violence’.

Access the article here