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Domestic violence and high rates of poverty level are two significant problems in the United States. However, researchers rarely examine these problems together and speak about their close correlation. Families who suffer from domestic abuse often represent a poor class of the American society. These two serious problems are often connected and there are several facts and preconditions with can explain it.
Women and children who experience poverty are the most unprotected group of the American population. It often happens that a woman is dependent on a man especially in poor families where there are more than one child and the woman often sits with children at home and the man earns their leaving. In fact, the only possible way to stop permanent abuse on the side of the man is to depart with him – divorce and leave. On the one hand, it is a difficult psychological trauma for every woman, as well as for children. Moreover, it usually presumes the fact that the woman leaves the house and moves. Unfortunately, she does not often have a place to move to. This situation becomes even more difficult if there are children in the family.
“Efforts to escape violence can have devastating economic impacts. Leaving a relationship might mean a woman will lose her job, housing, health care, child care, or access to her partner’s income. Often criminal and civil legal remedies are necessary to safely leave a relationship” (Paul). Moreover, the woman is at the highest risk of being abused or violated when she takes a decision to leave and tells her abuser about it. It usually leads to uncontrolled fits of anger and new waves of abuse.
Due to the fact that only a few recent researches considering the topic of domestic violence and poverty correlate these problems, there are usually different separate programs which deal with only of the problems listed above. For example, advocacy, police and social services lead the divorce process, help a woman to separate peacefully from her batterer, however, they do not concentrate on such important issues, as new home, food, medical insurance, employment, social and financial support, perspectives for good salary and necessary care for children. On the other hand, most anti-poverty programs work out on improvement of the family’s financial status, provide new workplaces, increase salaries for low-paid workers and apply social programs paying little attention to the situation in some families and fight against abuse in families.
The main obstacle on the woman’s way is usually lack of financial independence. It is necessary to live somewhere, buy clothes and food and pay the bills. Moreover, separation, moving and divorce often require additional lawyer’s help and support and legal services are also well paid today. In order to be able to take such a decision and leave an abuser, the woman should be confident in tomorrow. It is not just women’s weakness, fear and hope that her husband will change one day and stop her and her children’s sufferings.
In this case she acts as a careful mother which is responsible not just for her life but also for her children’s lives. Children often stop mothers in poor families from divorcing and there are several reasons for it. Firstly, women of poor locations, as well as often rich ones, often hope that abuser will stop their abuses and tomorrow everything will change. The statistics indicate that that only 4% of women from poor family depart from their husbands after the first accident of abuse, while all the others hope that they can tear anything.