Working women face greater odds of violence from their partner

Working women face greater odds of violence
Partner violence is two times more likely to occur in households where both partners are working compared to those where only one partner works, a new study has claimed.

Researchers from the Sam Houston State University took telephone interviews with 303 women who identified themselves as either currently or recently in a serious romantic relationship.

Based on the Fourth Annual Texas Crime Victimisation Survey, a total of 67 per cent of these women, who ranged in age from 18 to 81, reported some form of physical or psychological victimisation by their partner during the preceding two year period.

These actions included having something thrown at them; being pushed, grabbed or shoved; slapped, hit, kicked or bitten; or threatened with a gun or knife.

The study found that more than 60 per cent of women in heterosexual working couples reported victimisation, while only 30 per cent of women reported victimisation in cases when only the male partner was employed.

The study, conducted by Cortney A Franklin and Tasha A Menaker looked at the impact of education levels and employment status differences among heterosexual partners on intimate partner victimisation.

While differences in education levels appeared to have little influence on intimate partner violence, when both partners were working, intimate partner violence increased.

"When both male and females were employed, the odds of victimisation were more than two times higher than when the male was the only breadwinner in the partnership, lending support to the idea that female employment may challenge male authority and power in a relationship," said Franklin and Menaker.

"When women are home-bound through their role as domestic workers, they lack connections to co-workers and the social capital that is produced through those connections, in addition to wages, job prestige, resources, and thus, power," the researchers said in a statement.

"In turn, they must rely solely on their male partner for financial sustenance and can benefit from the distinction that his employment brings the couple," they said.

"Those women who work outside the home have access to these tangible and intangible assets, which may devalue or, in some cases, even undermine the contributions and provisions supplied by male-only employment," they added.

The study also found that distress in the relationship and witnessing intimate partner violence during childhood increased the odds of victimisation.

The study will be published in the journal Violence Against Women.

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