Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 339–349 | Cite as

Patterns in Child–Father Contact after Parental Separation in a Sample of Child Witnesses to Intimate Partner Violence

  • Anna M. ForssellEmail author
  • Åsa Cater
Original Article


Despite the well-documented negative consequences for children experiencing violence perpetrated by their fathers against their mothers, little is known about how characteristics of exposure to violence are related to child–father contact after parental separation. In this study, we (a) describe contact patterns between children and fathers after parental separation and (b) analyze links between patterns of violence and contact in a sample of child witnesses to intimate partner violence in Sweden. Information about 165 children (aged 3–13 years) was obtained from their mothers, who had been subjected to violence by the child’s father. In 60 % of the cases, the parents had joint custody. Results suggest that children without contact with their father have witnessed more violence than children with contact. However, when they do have contact, previous violence against the mother does not correlate either with amount or type of child–father contact. Instead, high socioeconomic status and negotiation skills correlated positively with amount of contact.


Family violence Child–father relationship Child abuse Consequences of family violence 



This study was made possible by grants from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law, Psychology and Social WorkÖrebro UniversityÖrebroSweden

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