Synopses & Reviews
Two topics of current concern -- domestic violence and welfare reform -- are linked in this timely book that has been developed by leading academics, practitioners, advocates, policymakers, and abused welfare recipients. The chapters explore various threads that link family violence to welfare including: how public assistance can provide the financial support necessary for escaping violence; how batterers restrict their partner's employment and educational opportunities, thereby preventing them from being independent of the welfare system; how child support regulations require disclosure about abusers that may increase the danger of family violence; and how child abuse is linked to the need for welfare.
Battered Women, Children, and Welfare Reform provides an invaluable service for those interested in the realities of reform efforts. The text's four parts place many realities in perspectives, identify gaps in reform efforts, and map alternative paths to reform. The text undeniably bridges several disciplines and policy areas that others typically address separately. The reader most likely will remain impressed with the text's compelling, clear voice in an era of policy making in which agreement seems assumed and the proper direction for reform remain uncontested. --Journal of Marriage and the Family The historical role of welfare in helping women free themselves from domestic abuse and children from child abuse has long been obscured. Despite its many flaws, welfare offers women a lifeline with which to climb out of an abusive relationship, and the repeal of welfare threatens to chain abused women and children to their abusers. This important and pioneering collection explores the connections between welfare and family violence, and it should be read by all concerned with women's and children's welfare. --Linda Gordon, University of Wisconsin, Madison Ruth Brandwein has brought together a series of essays that analyze the intersection between domestic violence against women, poverty, and welfare cutbacks. Together the essays make clear that while poverty contributes to abuse, so does abuse perpetuate poverty. Moreover, the policies introduced under the banner of 'welfare reform' are likely to further endanger women who are already acutely vulnerable, both by introducing new occasions and provocations for abuse, and by reducing the scanty economic protections that welfare onceprovided. A fine book about an enormously important issue. --Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, City University of New York This book hits squarely the RISKS that accompany welfare (and systems) reform, not debating the need for reform, but the DANGERS to spouses within the current system and in the approaches that 'experts, ' who frequently have no clue about their clients, present as further abuse in the name of reform and cost-saving. --The World Pastoral Care Center Resources Hotline '99, June 1999 This tightly edited book links two timely topics -- domestic violence and welfare reform. Developed by leading interdisciplinary academics, practitioners, advocates, and policymakers, Battered Women, Children, and Welfare Reform explores various threads that tie family violence to welfare. Chapters examine how public assistance can provide the financial support necessary for escaping domestic violence; how batterers restrict their partner's job and educational opportunities, preventing them from leaving the welfare rolls; how child support regulations require disclosure of information that may increase the danger of family violence; and how child abuse is linked to the need for welfare. A key chapter, written by survivors of abuse who were also welfare recipients, completes this much needed addition to the sparse literature and research available on the connection between family violence, child support, child abuse, and welfare. The macro approach of this book lends insights that will assist practitioners in understanding their clients' objective reality. In addition, academics involved in law, social work, public policy, publicadministration, and women's studies will appreciate this unique study.