From culture clash to new possibilities: A harm reduction approach to family violence and child protection services

Aron Shlonsky, Colleen Friend, Liz Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the separate but sometimes overlapping foci of domestic violence (DV) and child protection services. When these sectors interact, the resulting tension becomes part of a complex dialectic and multiple opposing propositions that are explored here with respect for how they affect practice. A review of 30 years of DV discourse leads to systematic examinations of the DV literature for battered women, mental health, children, and offenders. The article proposes a radical shift by pairing a harm reduction approach with an evidence-based practice model when DV and child protection intersect. The implications of Stage of Change theory are considered in relationship to the harm reduction approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-363
Number of pages19
JournalBrief Treatment and Crisis Intervention
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Child abuse
  • Child maltreatment
  • Domestic violence
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Harm reduction

Cite this