This June many of you celebrated Father’s Day, but for many battered women Father’s Day is usually a day of celebration and mixed emotions about the parenting role the men in their lives take with their children.
Many men who batter have some level of contact with their children. Battered women want these men to be more nurturing fathers as well as supportive parenting partners. For the safety of battered women and the benefit of children who are having contact with their fathers, it is critical for interveners to work with abusive men in their role as fathers.
Many communities send men to parenting classes, which are not designed for men who use coercion and threats as a means of getting compliance. Anger management may be ordered but a focus on emotional regulation has been known to be ineffective with men who believe in their innate superiority over women. Others may be referred to Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs, which provide a level of work on responsible parenting.
I hope those of you who are working with men or with child protection will attend a one-day training Melissa Scaia and I will be facilitating at the pre-conference institute. The session is titled “Addressing Fatherhood for Men-Who-Batter.” We will also conduct a session at Moving Forward, TCFV’s statewide conference this September, that clarifies how to effectively intervene so there is greater potential for men to be nonviolent fathers and have respectful relationships with the children’s mother.
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project