Few studies have investigated the personal and social factors that predict the end of the partner violence and which factors could support women on their path to liberation. The aim of this research is to examine under what conditions women manage to get out of partner violence and what obstacles they find in this path. The study is multi-method and the data collected are related to women who turned to 5 anti-violence centers in Northern Italy. The quantitative results revealed that the presence of children is a key element in the path of women: when they shared children with the abuser, they were more likely to continue to suffer violence even after separation: 18 months after the first contact, violence had significantly decreased or ceased for 98% of childless wom-en, 84% of those with one child and only 55% of those with two or more children. The qualitative results showed that the women interviewed had been active in re-acting to violence, separating from the partner and going to an anti-violence cen-ter. However, social and legal services often hinder this path in the name of the principle of bi-parenthood and the belief that a father figure, even if violent, is necessary. In particular, it emerged that: they oblige women and children to meet violent ex-partners / fathers even at the cost of endangering them; they always fa-vor the father/child relationship; they adhere to pseudo-theories such as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) or Parental Alienation (PA). Paradoxically, it seems that when a woman victim of violence manifests agency, it causes the irritation of operators and operatives and clashes with a lack of willingness to help her effec-tively.
Keywords: Partner violence; agency; children; obstacles.
Federica Bastiani, Mariachiara Feresin, Patrizia Romito, Exit paths from partner violence: role of children, women's agency and ob-stacles in society in "SICUREZZA E SCIENZE SOCIALI" 3/2019, pp. 65-84, DOI:10.3280/SISS2019-003006