We wanted to study the relationship between being unemployed or not, health related quality of life (HRQOL), and intimate partner violence (IPV) among women who had just arrived at a women’s shelter and one year later. This seems as an important issue as employment rates are quite low among abused women. In measuring HRQOL, SF-36 was used both at baseline and follow-up. Lower scores in SF-36 are reflecting poorer functioning. Physical and psychological violence at baseline were measured by Severity of Violence against Women Scale and Psychological Maltreatment of Women Index. T-tests were used in the comparing analyses among unemployed women with those who took part in work life outside their homes. Significantly more psychological violence was reported by those who were unemployed compared to those who were employed at baseline. No significant differences in physical violence were reported. Those who were unemployed had higher HRQOL in all domains both at baseline and in follow up except physical health at baseline and physical health and bodily pain at follow-up. Among women who had experienced IPV, psychological violence may lead to unemployment. Better physical health and less bodily pain were reported among the employed women than the unemployed, but other HRQOL domains were better among the unemployed.
Keywords: Intimate partner violence, employment, quality of life.
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