Parenting in contexts of family violence and inter-parental conflict: Implications for practice

Parenting in contexts of family violence and inter-parental conflict: Implications for practice

Cathy Humphreys and Kathryn Lyons

This webinar explored the implications of recent research on women's and children’s experiences of family violence and inter-parental conflict.

Parenting in contexts of family violence and inter-parental conflict

This webinar was recorded on 14 March 2018 and broadcast on 22 March 2018.

A full recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube Channel.

The audio, transcript and presentation slides are available under Event Resources on this page.

A list of resources related to this topic is available on our post-webinar forum.

Recent research1 led by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) found that both domestic and family violence (DFV) and inter-parental conflict (IPC) have a range of negative consequences for families and children, including increased parenting difficulties. It revealed that DFV and IPC are relatively common in Australian families, including separating families:

  • One in 4 mothers reported past or emerging IPC, with 8–9% reporting persistent IPC; and
  • One in 4 mothers in separated families reported physical harm before separation (compared to 1 in 6 fathers).

In families where mothers experienced IPC, children were more likely to have poorer physical health, poorer socio-emotional adjustment and lower academic achievement. Similarly, DFV was closely associated with poorer parent–child relationships.

This webinar explored the impacts of DFV and IPC on parenting capacity and children’s social and emotional wellbeing. It discussed implications for practice, including the need to develop responses that restore parenting capacity and repair parent–child relationships.

This webinar was presented in collaboration with ANROWS and the Family Law Pathways Network of Greater Melbourne.

ANROWS and Family Law Pathways Network


  1. Kaspiew, R., Horsfall, B., Qu, L., Nicholson, J. M., Humphreys, C., Diemer, K., … Dunstan, J. (2017). Domestic and family violence and parenting: Mixed method insights into impact and support needs: Final report (ANROWS Horizons 04/2017). Sydney: ANROWS. Retrieved from:

About the presenters

Cathy Humphreys

Cathy Humphreys is Professor of Social Work at the University of Melbourne. Cathy is also co-chair of the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence Against women and their children (MAEVe) and one of the lead investigators on the Safer Families Centre for Research Excellence led by Professor Kelsey Hegarty.

Her research in the domestic violence area includes projects on: substance use; mental health; child abuse; strengthening the mother–child relationship; and multiagency working and reform. She currently works on a range of projects including: Fathering Challenges, which examines responsible, reparative and responsive fathering in the context of domestic violence; the PATRICIA project, which explores the interface between child protection and domestic violence services; the Domestic and Family Violence and Parenting project led by Dr Rae Kaspiew, which explores the impact of DFV on mothering and fathering; the Caring Dads evaluation project; and Invisible Practices, which focuses on interventions with fathers who use violence.

Kathryn Lyons

Kathryn Lyons is Manager of the Geelong Family Relationship Centre (FRC) and Parenting Orders program (POP) working in the area of separated families. Kathryn has practised as a social worker for the last 16 years in the area of children, adolescents, parenting and family, including roles at a migrant resource centre and The Royal Children’s Hospital.

Kathryn is an active participant of the Victorian FRC Managers Group and the Victorian POP Managers Group—professional networks that aim to ensure collaborative practice, processes and staff development across the State of Victoria. She is also a member of the Barwon Area Integrated Family Violence Committee and the Barwon South West Family Law Pathways Committee.

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