The Heal­ing Jour­ney

In­ti­mate Part­ner Abuse and Its Im­pli­ca­tions in the Labour Mar­ket

Herizons - - Arts & Culture -

Linda DeRiviere

Fern­wood Pub­lish­ing

Re­view by Crys­tal Erick­son Vic­tims of in­ti­mate part­ner abuse fre­quently suf­fer a bleak ar­ray of ob­sta­cles after leav­ing abu­sive re­la­tion­ships. This over­looked sub­ject is the fo­cus of The Heal­ing Jour­ney: In­ti­mate Part­ner Abuse and Its Im­pli­ca­tions in the Labour Mar­ket by Linda DeRiviere, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor in the po­lit­i­cal science depart­ment at the Univer­sity of Win­nipeg.

The Heal­ing Jour­ney study was com­prised of 414 par­tic­i­pants who were in­ter­viewed in seven waves to ob­serve the many chal­lenges vic­tims faced in their daily lives after leav­ing abu­sive re­la­tion­ships.

Em­ploy­ment rates were cor­re­lated to the last year of abuse for the par­tic­i­pants. Many were work­ing low-level jobs, DeRiviere found, the sorts of oc­cu­pa­tions in which women dom­i­nate but which also fail, in most cases, to pro­vide a re­li­able in­come. Un­for­tu­nately, these low-pay­ing jobs keep women in poverty and reliant on ten­u­ous gov­ern­ment-funded pro­grams for their sur­vival.

The sys­tem only works as well as its de­sign al­lows, and there are plenty of cracks into which vic­tims fall. Pub­lic pro­grams con­sid­ered gen­der-neu­tral can ac­tu­ally ig­nore the com­plex prob­lems that arise due to in­ti­mate part­ner violence.As DeRiviere writes, “The plight of abused women can be viewed in the con­text of a pa­tri­ar­chal ide­ol­ogy at a broader so­ci­etal level: this ide­ol­ogy leads to pol­icy de­ci­sion-mak­ing that largely un­der­val­ues the in­ter­ests of marginal­ized women in the labour force.”

DeRiviere concludes that many women even­tu­ally end up in an­other abu­sive re­la­tion­ship be­cause they can’t af­ford to live alone and don’t re­ceive the sup­ports they need.

The Heal­ing Jour­ney is a much-needed glimpse into the spe­cial cir­cum­stances vic­tims of in­ti­mate part­ner abuse face. It’s an is­sue that des­per­ately needs more re­search and gov­ern­ment at­ten­tion.

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