Abuse in Intimate Relationships as a Barrier to Work for Poor Women: Results From a Canadian Study

Shahid Alvi, University of St. Thomas
Walter S. DeKeseredy, Ohio University

This paper examines the relationship between women's employment status in a disadvantaged Canadian neighborhood, and experiences of intimate violence. We draw on data from the Quality of Neighborhood Life Survey (QNLS) of men and women living in a public housing estate in an urban center in Eastern Ontario, Canada. We examine the contention that women who have been victimized over the past year were more likely to be unemployed, or employed in part-time work than women who had not so been victimized. In the context of "workfare" policy transformations in the province of Ontario emphasizing the transition from welfare to work, the study addresses the question of whether some women may be unable to work (despite wanting to), because of experiences of violence at the hands of their intimate partners. Policy implications and suggestions for further reseach are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006