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Family and Employment Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: A Longitudinal Analysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2005
114 pages
This study examined how being violently abused by an intimate partner influenced the chances that a woman divorced or separated and moved; changed employment; or was reassaulted by an intimate partner.
The study used the 1996-1999 longitudinally linked files of the National Crime Victimization Survey, a nationally representative dataset that can be used to compare the labor-force involvement, mobility, and divorce consequences for women victimized by their partners with those for women otherwise victimized or not victimized at all. The linking of responses to key questions over time permitted this kind of analysis. The study also addressed whether seeking help with legal and medical systems improved a victim's work and family life and reduced the likelihood of a subsequent assault. The findings indicate that victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) were more likely than female victims of other crimes as well as nonvictims to divorce and move out of their homes. When analyses were restricted to victims of violent crime, recent intimate partner victimization was found to be a factor in a woman's entering the labor force. This may indicate a strategy for becoming more independent of a violent partner. Victimization history had little influence on an employed woman's odds of leaving work. There were significant associations between an IPV victim's responses to assault and her likelihood of being reassaulted. Self-defense responses increased the risk of reassault, but exiting the labor force decreased the likelihood of reassault. When others called the police and/or when arrests were made, future assaults were apparently deterred. The findings suggest that had the police and medical professionals been conducting effective interventions to protect IPV victims, reassaults would have been prevented and victims' transitions to independence would have been facilitated. 8 tables, 5 figures, and 108 references

Date Published: March 1, 2005