Recent developments at policy, legislative and practice levels have led to the mainstreaming of domestic violence as a child welfare issue. However, research evidence would suggest that familiar and well established tensions in service provision to women and children continue to be recycled. Moreover, there remains a central dichotomy in relation to men. Constructed as perpetrators or offenders, their identities as fathers remain invisible with serious consequences for the development of policies and practices which engage with them as 'domestically violent fathers'. The discursive removal of violent men from the category of father or indeed parent needs addressing in order to support women and children, but also to offer possibilities for men to develop non-violent parenting and partnering relationship patterns.