Women who experience intimate partner violence, including physical, emotional, and controlling abuse, are more likely to suffer material hardship the inability to purchase food, housing, utilities, medical care or other needs for a healthy life, according to a Rutgers led study. The study, in the journal Violence Against Women, found that experiencing intimate partner violence increases the probability that a woman will experience material hardship by 10-25% when factors such as ethnicity, education, mental health and drug use are account for.
Safety net benefits
Analyses were base on nine years of longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study; which follow 5,000 women after the birth of a child in 20 large cities in the United States. Data were collect by researchers at Princeton and Columbia Universities. Physical abuse, including being slapped, kicked, hit or experiencing sexual abuse; had the strongest association with material hardship; such that women who experience this form of abuse report 25% greater likelihood of being unable to purchase basic necessary items and services.
Controlling abuse, which happens when a partner controls; so the victim by not allowing her to work or taking her wages, had the second-strongest association; increasing the likelihood of reporting material hardship by approximately 13%. The study reinforce the idea that there are more than just physical ramifications in an abusive relationship.
Lenna Nepomnyaschy, co-author and associate professor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s School of Social Work, said, “Many people don’t realize the extent of the negative effects domestic violence has on victims. Policy makers need to be aware of these harmful effects on the economic stability; also security of vulnerable families when there are discussions; so about provision of safety net benefits, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and other forms of public assistance.”
Victims of domestic violence
She continued, “Our results are highly relevant in light of a new rule issue by the Trump administration; also schedule to go into effect October 15th; which would deny green cards for legal immigrants who receive any public assistance, including food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance, even when they are eligible for such programs. The most vulnerable women, those who are victims of domestic violence, poor; also immigrants; also their children would thus be the most negatively affect.”
“Our study merges interpersonal violence and poverty research to make the case for an issue that people think of as a personal problem. Communities and families can be affect; so with the possibility of electricity and water being shut off, eviction and food insecurity; which are all tremendously harmful for mothers and their children,” said co author Julia O’Connor; assistant professor at University of Central Florida and a graduate of the doctoral program at Rutgers University New Brunswick’s School of Social Work.
The study was base on a sample of 4,234 women; who were interview at the birth of their child and at four follow-up interviews over nine years, and who were involve in a relationship with either the biological father of the focal child or a new partner. Over the course of the study, approximately 40% of these women report any material hardship; also approximately 25% experience some form of intimate partner violence.