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Next Millennium Conference: Ending Domestic Violence; Contextualizing Outcomes

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1999
59 pages
Two conference speakers review the findings and implications of research on the connection between recent welfare reform and the incidence of domestic violence against women who are attempting to sustain employment under welfare reform requirements.
They note that as welfare departments began to work with women on welfare to move them into employment in the mid-1990's, grassroots Welfare to Work programs found that many of these women's partners were deliberately sabotaging their efforts at education, training, and work, using violence to do it. Threatened by the women's efforts to become self-sufficient, the men used a variety of strategies that were calculated to prevent the women from successfully completing training programs or getting to work. Program providers have found that domestic violence increased or was more severe when women sought education, training, or work. Systematic research has confirmed the prevalence of current domestic violence against women on welfare. In 1996, the Family Violence Option was added to the Federal welfare reform legislation. Under the Family Violence Option, Federal work requirements and the Federal lifetime limit on welfare receipt, along with any other provisions, can be temporarily waived to keep battered women safe through the journey from welfare to work. After reviewing the research on domestic violence against women participating in welfare reform programs, these conference presentations examine how the Family Violence Option is being implemented at the State level.

Date Published: August 1, 1999