Researching violence with children: experiences and lessons from the UK and South Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

E-pub ahead of print


  • Lorraine Radford
  • Nancy Lombard
  • Franziska Meinck
  • Emma Katz
  • Stanford Taonatose Mahati

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Original languageEnglish
JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
Early online date22 Feb 2017
StateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2017


The impact of violence on children’s health and development has had growing attention in global and national politics. Research on children’s experiences of violence has increased in recent years and this paper aims to add to this literature by highlighting key messages and learning points from the experiences of researchers who have worked with children and violence across the different contexts of the UK and South Africa. As qualitative and quantitative researchers, our concepts, aims, methods, resources and approaches were very different but we all faced similar challenges in working with children and violence in contexts were adults’ views about what violence counted predominated. We argue that children’s participation in research and highlighting children’s own understandings, agency and negotiations in relation to violence are crucial for challenging sometimes unhelpful taken for granted views about the impact of violence on children’s lives.
Keywords: childhood; cross national research, child abuse, family violence, domestic violence


  • family violence, children’s health, domestic violence