The VIA Inaugural Conference 2014 part one

This past week I have been preparing for the VIA (Violence and Interpersonal Aggression) Inaugural Conference 2014 at Coventry University.  I have a stand there to promote my PhD research project and to give a presentation. Please go to the ‘About the Mothers Apart Project’ for more information on my project.

My presentation is entitled:

Mothers separated from their children in a context of domestic violence:
A situational diagnosis using the PRECEDE-PROCEED model.

and can be found on slideshare

I’m expecting an audience that includes professionals working in the field of domestic violence. I’ll be asking for opinions that will inform a best practice training programme for professionals responding to mothers who have become (or are at risk of becoming) separated from their children. 

I would welcome your contributions here about what you think of training for professionals responding to mothers apart. Please feel free to comment on any of the following questions:

1. What is your job title & in what capacity do you work with survivors of domestic and sexual violence and abuse?

  1. In what capacity have you worked with mothers separated from their children?
  1. What awareness and understanding do (did) you have of the needs of mothers separated from their children (before the presentation)?
  1. What training have you had to address these needs?
  1. Do you or your organisation offer an intervention, or have a policy or procedure for responding to mothers separated from their children? If so, what are they?

6. What do you perceive to be the main barriers to providing an intervention or problems with policy making for this population?

7. If you would benefit from training in responding with best practice to mothers (at risk of being) separated from their children what would be your hopes and expectations of such specialised training?

8. What key element would be important to include in the training content?

9. What would be the appropriate/preferable methods of delivery for such training?

10. What is your age, gender and ethnicity?

About Dr Laura Monk

My doctoral research investigated how to improve professionals' responses to mothers who become separated from their children. I developed a training workshop for the professionals who mothers come into contact with - largely at the intersection of health and social care, the family courts and domestic abuse services. I am also a counsellor and psychotherapist and I run self-care retreats for practitioners in Spain and the UK
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2 Responses to The VIA Inaugural Conference 2014 part one

  1. Caroline says:

    Hi Laura, I am just an interested blog friend. Are the mothers losing their children because of no home, lack of employment, jail time, rehab? Is the domestic abuse by the husband towards the mother? What would intervention provide? I know from my life history that abuse repeats throughout generations, If onll we could grow up with positive role models maybe abuse would be history.


    • laurammonk says:

      Hi Caroline, thank you for your interest. Mothers are losing their children for a variety of reasons when there is domestic abuse and associated problems, e.g. substance misuse, homelessness, mental health problems – all of which can be due to the effects of domestic abuse. Survivors that I work with are all mothers who have been abused by their ex-partners who continue to abuse through the use of children in post-separation violence. This can happen through using contact either as opportunities to perpetrate abuse directly or through interfering with mother-child relationships and alienating children and mothers from one another. I’m sorry to hear about your life history and like you say abuse is often inter-generational. The mothers whom I interviewed for my masters project all had difficult relationships with their own mothers where there was domestic violence, mental health problems and substance misuse. Some mothers who have their children taken from them are still children themselves.


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