Children’s corporeal agency and use of space in situations of domestic violence

Jo Alexander, Jane Callaghan, Judith Sixsmith, Lisa Fellin

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter


This chapter draws on empirical and theoretical literature from a diverse range of disciplines and perspectives, illustrated with examples from the authors’ research with child survivors of domestic abuse, to explore children’s corporeal agency and use of space in situations of violence. There is a noticeable paucity of literature that explores how children cope, or their capacity for resilience and resistance in situations of domestic violence. Furthermore, while violence and abuse are perpetrated and experienced in ways that are embodied and spatial, research seldom explores how children and young people experience and manage living in violent situations in corporeal and spatial ways. This chapter highlights the need for future research to consider children’s capacity for agency and resilience, taking into account spatial and corporeal contexts and experiences of violence in order to balance problem-focused debates around children’s experiences of domestic abuse with a more resilience-focused lens. Findings illustrate children as capable and active agents, resourceful and inventive in their capacity to use, produce and construct physical, embodied and relational spaces for security, comfort and healing during and after living within violent and volatile contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlay, Recreation, Health and Well Being
Subtitle of host publicationGeographies of Children and Young People
EditorsJohn Horton, Bethan Evans, Tracy Skelton
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9789814585507
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameGeographies of Children and Young People


  • domestic abuse
  • domestic violence
  • children
  • resilience
  • children's geographies
  • embodiment
  • corporeal agency
  • Daphne


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