This paper takes as its starting point the report produced by the Social Services Inspectorate (1995), entitled Domestic Violence and Social Care, which seeks to alert social workers to the links between domestic violence and child abuse and urges the profession to respond more effectively to these two interconnected forms of violence. Having examined the research findings which provide evidence for these links, the theoretical and service delivery contexts in which these two forms of violence have been studied and conceptualized by the social work profession, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States, are identified. Studies of the social work response to domestic violence are discussed and some of the difficulties experienced by social workers in responding effectively to the needs of families where both forms of violence are experienced are considered. In particular, the issues of ‘invisible’ men and ‘trapped’ women and children are explored. It is argued that effective social work intervention which challenges these stereotypes will require additional resources and the article concludes with a consideration of whether the Messages from Research report might herald a shift in the approach to child protection that would promote the allocation of resources to this area of work.