Obstacles to Employment of Women with Abusive Partners: A Summary of Select Interview Data GCP-99-1

Stephanie Riger, Courtney Ahrens, Amy Blickenstaff, Jennifer Camacho
Stephanie Riger Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago,  Courtney Ahrens is a graduate student in the Community and Prevention Research Division of the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Amy Blickenstaff is a doctoral candidate in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jennifer Camacho  graduate student in Psychology at UIC

A high proportion of women who receive welfare are abused by their intimate partners.  This paper examines the relationship among welfare receipt, job readiness (i.e., employment history and training), employment resources (i.e., transportation and child care) and intimate violence among women in three domestic violence shelters.  These women have few job skills and many barriers to employment.  Many reported long-term physical or mental health problems, and most had young children at home, making work difficult.  Most of the women were unemployed and few had any kind of job training.  Their job histories consisted of intermittent work for low pay in unskilled positions.  Many of their abusers disrupted the women’s work and school efforts, severely interfering with their attempts at self-sufficiency.

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