What do the fathers want for their children? Welcoming fathers into the conversation following domestic violence
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While much research and study has gone into the field known as domestic violence, very little of that research has been conducted with men who use violence and even less research has centred the father-child relationship. In this research study, six fathers were interviewed and asked how their children have responded to their use of violence and abuse and what they might imagine would support and help their children. Prior to the interviews, all participants had completed an intervention program for pre-conviction men who wished to change their use of violence and/or abuse in their intimate relationships. These discussions were recorded and transcribed using thematic analysis. Findings revealed that the fathers had an awareness of how their children responded to their violence and expressed responsibility for causing harm. They also shared some creative solutions for providing support to their children. The researcher’s intention and commitment to holding dignity and safety at the center of the conversation with fathers was foundational to this research design. Further research is needed in this area, with implications for designing programming for fathers and their children.