Ways forward

Foster, Angela, Schumacher, Beate and Jhummun, Davina (2019) Ways forward. In: Mothers accused and abused: Addressing complex psychological needs. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 155-166. ISBN 9781315105550

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In the previous sections of this book links have been made between work in the forensic field with accused and abused mothers and the social work and legal tasks of child protection. Contributors have demonstrated how, through the provision of services funded to provide longer-term therapeutic help, it is possible to address inter-generational cycles of abuse and neglect. However, these interventions, though highly cost effective, are not widespread. John Major, when he was Prime Minister of the UK, announced in 1993 that ‘Society needs to condemn a little more and understand a little less’ (Macintyre, 1993). Said in support of his proposal to lock up persistent young offenders, this statement, subsequently taken out of context, is often repeated and used as a way of inviting and encouraging public condemnation and discouraging exploration in search of greater understanding. Yet it is through understanding that we develop the political will to secure funding for services geared towards early intervention and prevention. Until we (a) acknowledge the exceptional demands of pregnancy and motherhood and (b) take action to reduce the societal shaming, blaming, stigmatisation and scapegoating of ‘bad mothers’ they will continue to be thought of as undeserving.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Protection
Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Abuse & Neglect - Psychology
Criminology > Forensic Psychiatry
Criminology > Forensic Psychotherapy
Families > Mother Child Relations
Families > Maternal Deprivation
Department/People: Honorary Staff
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2094

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