Children’s embodied experience of living with domestic violence: “I’d go into my panic, and shake, really bad”

Article


Callaghan, Jane E. M., Alexander, Joanne H and Fellin, L. 2016. Children’s embodied experience of living with domestic violence: “I’d go into my panic, and shake, really bad”. Subjectivity. 9 (4), pp. 399-419.
AuthorsCallaghan, Jane E. M., Alexander, Joanne H and Fellin, L.
Abstract

Children who experience domestic violence are often described in academic and professional literature as passive victims, whose ‘exposure’ to violence and abuse at home leaves them psychologically damaged, socially impaired, inarticulate, cognitively ‘concrete’ and emotionally ‘incompetent’. Whilst we recognise the importance of understanding the hurt, disruption and damage that domestic violence can cause, we also explore alternative possible ways of talking about and thinking about the lives of children who have experienced domestic violence. We report on interviews and drawings with 27 UK children, using interpretive analysis to explore their capacity for agency and resistance. We explore the paradoxical interplay of children’s acceptance and resistance to coercive control, paying specific attention to embodied experience and use of space. We consider how children articulate their experiences of pain and coercion, how they position themselves as embodied and affective subjects, and challenge Scarry’s (1985) suggestion that embodied pain and violence are inexpressible.

Keywordsdomestic violence; interpersonal violence; children, embodiment; child witness; children exposed to domestic violence
JournalSubjectivity
Journal citation9 (4), pp. 399-419
ISSN1755-6341
1755-635X
Year2016
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1057/s41286-016-0011-9
Web address (URL)http://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41286-016-0011-9
Publication dates
Print24 Sep 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Feb 2017
Accepted30 Aug 2016
Copyright informationThis is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Subjectivity. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Callaghan, J.E., Alexander, J.H. and Fellin, L.C., 2016. Children’s embodied experience of living with domestic violence:“I’d go into my panic, and shake, really bad”. Subjectivity, 9(4), pp. 399-419, 10.1057/s41286-016-0011-9 is available online at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41286-016-0011-9. © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016
LicenseAll rights reserved (under embargo)
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