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Domestic Violence in the Family Space: What Should We Do with the Children? Professional Practices at the Crossroads of Child Protection and Domestic Violence

Marie-Laure Déroff, Émilie Potin

In France, the exposure of children to conjugal violence has recently become a concern as regards the struggle against violence to women. This realization awakens one to the need for coordinated action that takes into account both conjugal violence and child protection. Research carried out amongst those concerned has led to a better understanding both of the related practices and their identification. For example, different images of the child have been identified that portray both the position held by the child within the framework of social treatment of conjugal violence, and the way exposure to conjugal violence is viewed under the terms of measures that are essentially child oriented: symptom child, benchmark child, intermediary child. Professional are also guided in their actions by their identification of child risks. These are risks specifically associated with exposure to conjugal violence, risks that, if liable to be increased within such context, are more widely linked to conjugal separation.