Sleep and DV: a strategy of perpetrators

Sleep and DV: a strategy of perpetrators

Australian and English researchers have explored a link between sleep deprivation and domestic violence.

Coming across this research has made me focus on some of the domestic violence cases I have had over the years where sleep deprivation was a major issue. Typically, this involved a heterosexual relationship where the man was the perpetrator, and who engaged in more and more extreme domestic violence.

When even this didn’t work, he would turn to remove that one sanctity we all have- the ability to put our head on the pillow and crash. He would use sleep deprivation- you know the type- turning the house into its own little gulag- waking everyone at 1, 2 or 3am with screaming, yelling and aggression. Sometimes it would be directed at one of the children, necessitating the involvement of the mother. On other occasions it would be directed at the mother, which meant the kids got dragged into it come what may.

Here is the summary of the research:

This paper argues that sleep disruption is both a strategy and an effect of violence and abuse which profoundly affects the lives of women and children. This paper traces the interconnections between the patterns of sleeping (not sleeping) for women and children living with and recovering from the effects of violence and abuse. It highlights the threat to the emotional and physical well-being of children and women and provides a non-pathologizing route into an exploration of one of the symptoms of trauma. It is based on a pilot study which interviewed 17 women, 14 of whom were mothers to 28 children. Mothers reported that many of their children experienced nightmares, bed-wetting, night panics and disrupted sleep patterns. Recovery of the ability to sleep was often slow and uneven with interactive effects between women and children slowing progress.

For more, click here.

Things to Read, Watch & Listen

Anne-Marie Hutchinson Memorial Lecture

I have been given the great honour today of talking about my friend and colleague, the late Anne-Marie Hutchinson, OBE QC (Hons). Speaking at the tail end of this meeting, I have to keep this interesting! I am not going to talk at first about Anne-Marie, but two other inspirational women in my first law… Read More »Anne-Marie Hutchinson Memorial Lecture

Embracing Wellness in Your Daily Routine for Fertility

American guest author Ashley Taylor has written an interest article about having a holistic approach to maintaining your health and addressing fertility issues: In the journey toward maintaining your health and addressing fertility issues, embracing a holistic approach is key. Wellness is more than just a goal; it’s a sustainable lifestyle that intertwines various aspects… Read More »Embracing Wellness in Your Daily Routine for Fertility

Consultation open: Queensland Assisted reproductive technology industry

The Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technology Services Consultation Paper is now available and open for feedback until 25 February 2024. This follows the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women’s commitment to regulate the assisted reproductive technology (ART) industry in Queensland by 2024. The paper is designed to help inform considerations for regulating… Read More »Consultation open: Queensland Assisted reproductive technology industry

Family Law Section Law Council of Australia Award
Member of Queensland law society
Family law Practitioners Association
International Academy of Family Lawyers - IAFL
Mediator Standards Board