Part 2. Research perspectives. Violence, fear, and communication: The variable impact of domestic violence on mediation


  • David B. Chandler

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    • David B. Chandler is associate professor of sociology at the University of Hawaii. He has been a professional and volunteer mediator and mediation trainer since 1979 and specializes in the mediation of divorce and complex multiparty disputes.


Generalizations from a clinical knowledge base as well as from victim advocates may have resulted in overestimation of the prevalence of domestic violence in divorce mediation cases and an overly simple view of its consequences for victims in mediation. Careful empirical comparison between violence cases, identified by premediation screening questions, and nonviolence cases in a popuhtion (n = 216) of divorcing couples voluntarily seeking mediation, reveals that 23 percent have a history of violence. A policy of premediation violence screening and counseling may be able to adequately differentiate between the potentially small number of violence cases in which mediation is inappropriate and those cases in which mediation has the same results as it does for nonviolence cases.