The Fatherhood Movement and Domestic Violence

Posted on November 15, 1999

During the 1990s, and particularly since the inception of the federal government’s Fatherhood Initiative in 1995, much national attention has been devoted to the subject of fatherhood in the United States. While the expansion of efforts to support father involvement is often met with broad public and political support, several concerns have been raised over the direction and potential impact of these initiatives. These issues are of particular concern in situations involving domestic violence. Some have argued that the prevalence of domestic violence has been exaggerated and that the proportion of people affected is very small compared to those who will be affected by legislative and policy changes overall. But recent research indicates the opposite, in particular for women who are receiving public assistance and whose own and whose children’s livelihoods are directly affected by legislative and policy changes.