Perspectives of Rural Women: Custody and Visitation With Abusive Ex-Partners

Melanie F. Shepard, Annelies K. Hagemeister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The study reported in this article explored the perceptions of rural women on custody and visitation arrangements with abusive ex-partners. Data were collected from questionnaires and focus groups with 23 mothers who were recruited from domestic violence support groups. Most mothers reported experiencing ongoing abusive and controlling behavior by their ex-partners related to custody and visitation arrangements. Counseling and legal services were most frequently used, while visitation exchange sites and supervision visitation and support groups were considered the most helpful services. Recommendations for rural areas include improving methods for screening and monitoring custody cases within the court system and improving access to child visitation services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalAffilia - Journal of Women and Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2013


  • child and family welfare
  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence

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