What Happens When Abusers Follow Women to Work?

Lisa D. Brush

in Poverty, Battered Women, and Work in U.S. Public Policy

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780195398502
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897483 | DOI:

Series: Interpersonal Violence

What Happens When Abusers Follow Women to Work?

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Conventional wisdom assumes that work requirements give women an escape route or greater leverage in their abusive relationships and give men material incentives to support and encourage women’s employment. This chapter opens with the story of Larnice, whose experiences contradict that conventional wisdom. The chapter then presents and interpret interview evidence about the characteristics and dynamics of specifically work-related control, abuse, and sabotage. Work-family conflict sometimes becomes literal; the chapter shows what happens during conflicts about work, conflicts that interfere with work, and conflicts that follow women to work. Interrupting, controlling, or thwarting women’s employment or their transition from welfare to work are all significant methods, means, and mechanisms of men’s directly establishing dominance, enforcing control, and exercising coercion in relationships. The chapter defines and describes work-related control, abuse, and sabotage as they shape the lives of Larnice and other members of her cohort of welfare-to-work program participants.

Keywords: work-related control; abuse; sabotage; stalking; welfare-to-work; work-family conflict

Chapter.  11246 words. 

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