From domestic violence to sustainable employment
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International research has found that domestic violence is a significant barrier to accessing and sustaining work (Lloyd and Taluc 1999, 385; Browne et al. 1999, 398). In the Australian context, the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research reports that between 6 and 9 per cent of Australian women aged 18 and over are physically assaulted each year and that more than half of all women in Australia experience sexual or physical violence across their adult lifetime. Such behaviour has been estimated to cost $8.1 billion, of which $4.4 billion is estimated to be borne by the victims themselves, $1.2 billion by the general community and smaller amounts by friends and family and various levels of government (Access Economics 2004). This assessment underestimates the costs of domestic violence in terms of the inability of those who have experienced domestic violence to move into and secure sustainable employment options. Despite these statistics there is a dearth of Australian research focussing on the link between domestic violence and its impact on long-term sustainable employment for those who have been subjected to such violence. This paper explores the issue of domestic violence and access to work opportunities. In so doing, it links the work of Gianakos (1999) and her Career Development theory with that of Bandura’s (1989) Social Cognitive Career Theory to develop a framework which would provide a pathway to enable those who have suffered domestic violence to achieve sustainable employment and economic independence.
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