ERIC Number: ED420739
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Dec
In Harm's Way? Domestic Violence, AFDC Receipt, and Welfare Reform. Research-in-Brief.
A survey was conducted in Massachusetts to determine the effect of some welfare policy changes among families who receive public assistance and have experienced domestic violence. Interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 734 Massachusetts women who received welfare between January and June 1996. The survey found that one-fifth of the women interviewed reported abuse by a husband or boyfriend within the past 12 months, and 65 percent of the women surveyed have been victims of domestic violence at some time in their lives, compared to an estimate of 20 percent of the general adult female population. Abused women were likely to have the following characteristics: having had disagreements with current or husbands or boyfriends, especially concerning child custody; having experienced violence as a child; having been married; and having had their first child at a slightly younger age (20.4 years) than women who had not been abused. Abused women were also more likely to have a child with a disability or to have a disability themselves and to have emotional and psychological problems. Welfare reforms aimed at eroding the safety net, requiring work, setting time limits, requiring paternity provisions, and requiring compliance with other welfare requirements may be too burdensome for abused women, who may thereby be pushed off welfare and into remaining in abusive situations. (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Battered Women, Compliance (Legal), Family Violence, Federal Legislation, Marital Instability, Socioeconomic Status, State Legislation, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform
Institute for Women's Policy Research, 1400 20th St., N.W., Suite 104, Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute for Women's Policy Research, Washington, DC.
Note: Based on the report, "In Harm's Way? Domestic Violence, AFDC Receipt, and Welfare Reform in Massachusetts" by MaryAnn Allard, Mary Ellen Colten, Randy Albelda, and Carol Cosenza.