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Criminal Justice


Dr. Karel Kurst-Swanger,


The effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) on victims’ employment status is well-documented. The purpose of this study was to examine the implications of domestic violence on the status and stability of employment for victims who work in the public sector. The study’s 2 research questions asked how victims’ perspectives on IPV could provide insights to (a) help public sector employers improve victims’ employment stability and (b) create policies and practices that support victim disclosure. A phenomenological approach was used to understand the experience of victims of IPV and unstable employment. The theoretical framework derived from feminist theory and focused on gender, power, control, and abuse. Fifteen adult females living in the South who were victims of IPV at their place of employment in the public sector were interviewed. The majority of the participants in this study reported that public sector organizations reactively approached instances of IPV by terminating the employee instead of proactively dealing with the problem through administrative regulations or policies that provide legal protection to victims. Based on the results of the study, public employers need to educate employees and create policies to protect the job stability and well-being of people who experience IPV in the workplace.