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  • Author or Editor: Kirsten Ellen Hall x
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Children’s agency and resilience within situations of domestic abuse has been the focus of recent research, with an emphasis on children’s voices to inform knowledge. This has been underpinned by a move away from the witness model of domestic abuse. This article contributes to this growing understanding of how children react, respond, and interact when living with domestic abuse.

Qualitative interviews were completed with 16 relevant professionals, and 13 adult survivors of childhood domestic abuse. The research overall was conducted through the lens of the home to provide enhanced insight into day-to-day experiences of domestic abuse. Factors associated with resilience were part of an initial research question, whereas agency emerged as a strong theme through the analysis process.

This research has demonstrated that children engage in varying degrees of agency or display behaviours associated with resilience to cope with situations of domestic abuse, prevent or stop escalation of abuse or as protection for themselves and others. This article argues that agency and resilience can occur in contexts where adults – both inside and outside the home – have not prevented children from experiencing domestic abuse and its impacts. This has been conceptualised as children operating in the context of a ‘vacuum of responsibility’.

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