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Research & Evaluation on Violence Against Women: Battering, Work, & Welfare

NCJ Number
Date Published
156 pages
This document discusses battering and the transition of women from welfare to work.
The study sought to measure control, sabotage, and physical abuse welfare recipients experience at the hands of their intimate partners; track the timing and costs of abuse through the transition from welfare to work; and understand from the perspectives of welfare recipients the obstacles women face. During May-June 2001, 40 women in Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) were interviewed regarding their transition from welfare to work. All were non-pregnant women, at least 18 years old, and in their first days of program enrollment. Eighty-three percent were self-identified as Black. Analyses included descriptive statistics, correlations, and limited statistical modeling of the effects of subject characteristics and experiences on outcomes. The findings indicated that using measures of physical violence alone results in contradictory and sometimes counterintuitive research findings. Recommendations are including measures of emotional abuse and work-related control as well as physical violence; differentiating between abuse and its consequences; and asking specifically about the relationship women observe between their going to work and their being abused or suffering from trauma symptoms. It was also found that physically battered women earn less than other welfare recipients. Battering aggravates women’s experiences of the hardships associated with poverty. Abused women experience more hardships of poverty even if their work experiences are similar to those of other welfare recipients. Recommendations include providing abused welfare recipients with direct relief from hardships; providing information about and strategies for dealing with abuse; and creating policies and provisions for placing and serving battered women. 160 references, appendix

Date Published: January 1, 2003