Familjerättsutredares bemötanden av barn som upplevt våld och barnens strategier
2009 (Swedish)In: Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, ISSN 1104-1420, no 1, 20-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Since the early 1990s a chain of law reforms have intended to increase children’s participation in family law proceedings. Based upon a study of vulnerable children as social actors in family law proceedings this article explores family law investigators’ approaches to children, and children’s strategies in encounters with investigators as well as the investigation process at large. The discussion is based upon thematically structured interviews with children whose father has been violent to their mother. The different kinds of investigator approaches that can be reconstructed from the children’s narratives span from an emphatic and child-oriented approach to a distant, adult-oriented one disqualifying the child as participant in the process and as victim of violence. Children’s strategies span from accepting cooperation in the process, unwilling cooperation, open protest to attempts to achieve a higher degree of participation in the process. Most commonly, children have been approached as ‘protected child’ or as ‘disqualified adult’. The informants’ descriptions of themselves as unwilling, unavailable, or openly protesting, tend to coincide with the latter position: to get neither influence over the investigation process nor care and empathy seems to be the most problematic position from children’s point of view. As regards children’s experiences of violence these have rarely been a topic for dialogue between child and investigator. The children have mainly been approached as ‘protected victims’, ‘invisible victims’ or even ‘unprotected victims’ when the children’s own vicitimisation has become visible to investigators but the children are left without protection. Drawing upon this sample of informants, we suggest that the most challenging task for family law investigators seems to be to make children’s vulnerable position visible and at the same time offer them a high degree of participation: to approach them as victims and actors
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund, 2009. no 1, 20-37 p.
Social Sciences Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-99491OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-99491DiVA: diva2:208003