When Dad Hurts Mom: Helping Your Children Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse

Front Cover
Penguin, Mar 1, 2005 - Self-Help - 384 pages
6 Reviews
Can my partner abuse me and still be a good parent? Should I stay with my partner for my children's sake? How should I talk to my children about the abuse and help them heal? Am I a bad mother?

Mothers in physically or emotionally abusive relationships ask themselves these questions every day. Here, a counselor reveals how abusers interact with and manipulate children-and how mothers can help their children recover from the trauma of witnessing abuse.

This book, the first ever of its kind, shows mothers how to:
  • Protect children and help them heal emotionally

  • Provide love, support, and positive role models, even in the midst of abuse

  • Increase their chances of winning custody

  • Help their kids feel good about themselves


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Review: When Dad Hurts Mom: Helping Your Children Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse

User Review  - Goodreads

This is a very accessible, easily understandable, and well-organized book. I would recommend it to parents and children who were direct victims of or witness to abuse. I read this as an adult survivor ... Read full review

Review: When Dad Hurts Mom: Helping Your Children Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse

User Review  - Goodreads

This book is mostly geared towards women who have been or are in abusive relationships. Most of it was interesting, but not necessarily related to my situation with foster parenting. There were parts, however, that were excellent and very insightful. Read full review


Grace and Matthew
Breanna and Adam
Alexandra andGreg
Wanda and Leif
He considers the children the womans domain of iiresponsibility but his domain of authority
What Can I Do?
Undermining of Your Parenting After Separation
The Children as Weapons PostSeparation
How Bad Will My ExPartner Become PostSeparation?
Could His Parenting Improve?
The Role of the New Wife or Girlf riend
What Can I Do?

The Importance of Your Leadership
What Good Parenting Requires
Neglect and Irresponsibility
Undermining of the Mother
Wanting Children and You to Be Just Like Him
Believing He Knows It All
How can I tell whether he is going to abuse my children?
What Can I Do?
Key Concepts in Childrens Experiences
When Secrecy Is Imposed
Behavioral Effects
Emotional Effects
Effects on Learning and Cognition
Effects on Childrens Beliefs and Values
Childrens Feelings Toward the Abusive Man
Childrens Resilience
What Can I Do?
Abuse Is a Boundary Problem
Back to Tom
Boundary Violations Usually Start Small
Boys Can Be at Risk Too
What Can I Do?
How Abuse Undermines Your Authority
Interfering with Your Parenting
Why Does He Want to Damage My Relationships with My Children?
What Can I Do?
Use of the Children as Weapons
How and Why Abusive Men Sow Divisions
Will He Succeed in Driving Us All Apart?
What Can I Do?
Facing Hard Questions About the Future
The Pros and Cons of Your Children Leaving Your Abusive Partner
How Child Protective Systems Work
Proper Child Protective Services for Abused Mothers
Common Errors in Child Protective Responses to Abused Women
Misconceptions About the Family Courts
How Family Courts Handle Domestic Abuse Allegations
When You Have Concerns About Child Sexual Abuse
Should I Involve Child Protective Services?
Negotiating with an Abuser
What Can I Do?
Where Does Healing Come From?
Seeking Professional Assistance
When Children Dont Remember What Happened
Teaching Critical Thinking
Childrens Coping and Positive Resistance
Safety Planning with Children
Some Closing Thoughts
Expand Your Knowledge Base
Educate Your Community
Challenge Myths That Leave Children Vulnerable
Make a Difference to Children You Know
Support Your Local Program for Abused Women
Put Pressure on Media Outlets
Support Family Court Reform
The Role of Professionals
Create an AbuseFree World
General Resources for Abused Women
For Teenagers and Their Parents
For Lesbians
For Immigrant and Refugee Women
Books to Read with Children
Divorce and Separation Issues
Child Custody Divorce and Child Support
Child Sexual Abuse
Parenting Issues
Child Protective Services Issues
For Women Involved with Law Enforcement Officers
Abusive Men
For Those Assisting Abused Women
Educational Advocacy
Mentors and Male Allies

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About the author (2005)

Lundy Bancroft has spent the last fifteen years of his career specializing in domestic abuse and the behavior of abusive men and is considered one of the world’s experts on the subject. He is the author of journal articles on abuse that have appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine and The Journal of Contemporary Psychology. The former codirector at Emerge, the nation’s first program for abusive men, Bancroft now practices in Massachusetts while training various state and judicial agencies in dealing with domestic abuse situations.

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