Book review: Radford, L. & Hester, M. (2006). Mothering Through Domestic Violence. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishersedit
In this compelling paperback, Lorraine Radford and Marianne Hester seek to provide a wide audience with an overview of the rough terrain navigated by women who are mothers and who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV). Their experiences with the state are described, in particular with family court systems and child protection systems. The book’s central theme is that state practices often replicate abusive power and control dynamics previously exerted over IPV survivors. Quotes throughout the book allow readers to hear women’s voices describing experiences of violence, mothering, state systems, and areas where these intersect. Being a mother is seen as a key factor in entrapment of women experiencing IPV because of “the fundamental contradiction between woman as mother and woman as lover in the social construction of western femininities.” (Radford & Hester, 2006, p. 47).