Article Review: “If I Killed You, I’d Get the Kids: Women’s Survival and Protection Work with Child Custody and Access in the Context of Woman Abuse”

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The main aim of the “If I Killed You, I’d Get the Kids: Women’s Survival and Protection Work with Child Custody and Access in the Context of Woman Abuse” article, was to propose, “how women work to negotiate formal systems in relation to child custody and access in the context of woman abuse” (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 78). Academic and community researchers, including a social action group, collaboratively conducted the entire article in two adjacent suburban communities in Western Canada (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 78). More so, the data of the research study, which was particularly based on Participatory Action Research, was collected between 2000 and 2002 (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 78). At the time, the legislation governing post-divorce child support and divorce sought to be revised by the Canadian federal government (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 78). With the twenty-seven recruits, the researchers and research assistants held in-depth qualitative individual interviews (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 83). The Violence Against Women Community Co-ordinating Committee that consisted of representatives from various services like the police, child welfare services, social services and public health was the driving force of the study (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 78).

In their analysis, Varcoe and Erwin (2004) found out that the most critical issue of concern to the women who had children in the study was child custody and access. In addition, once formal systems were involved, the women’s work with systems dominated their lives (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 84). They also found out that the systems involvement with issues of child custody and access was problematic when responses re-victimized the women by supporting further abuse t...

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...ials in relation to the purpose of the study” (Babbie, 2007, p. 308).

Varcoe and Irwin (2004) mentioned that the women’s experiences with getting help dealing with abuse by a partner were where the interviews were centered. In addition, the interviews usually lasted from one to four hours and conducted at places chosen by the women (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 83). Letters from lawyers, court orders and notes they made during court appearance are some of the documentary evidence provided by the women while field notes were taken during the interviews (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 84). Furthermore, having worked on the interview together by the analysis team, meaning units were identified and assigned to conceptual categories. Based on the analysis of the women’s interviews, a preliminary paper based on child custody and access was written (Varcoe & Irwin, 2004, p. 83).
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