Why doesn’t she just leave?

Really?  And women should just up and leave an abusive relationship; as if it were that easy.

‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ is a timeworn question about women trapped in relationships that are physically and/or emotionally abusive to them.  Economic dependence is clearly part of the story — many women lack the financial means to leave and find themselves trapped by both poverty and abuse.

Of the women who do attempt to escape the abuse, some opt to petition a judge for a civil restraining order, also called a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, for protection from abuse, harassment, threats, or intimidation. Research shows that PFAs can promote women’s safety and help women manage the threat of abuse.

However, a new study by two University of Pittsburgh sociologists shows that turning to the courts may not be effective at helping these women earn more money or even return to their prior level of earnings growth.

Pitt Professor of Sociology Lisa Brush and Associate Professor of Sociology Melanie Hughes in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences have coauthored “The Price of Protection: A Trajectory Analysis of Civil Remedies for Abuse and Women’s Earnings,” published in a recent issue of American Sociological Review, the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association.

The paper investigates changes in women’s earnings before and after they petition the courts for a restraining order against an abuser. Although one might theorize that such an order would clear the way for the woman to return to work and increase her earnings, Brush and Hughes found overwhelming evidence that this period of petitioning is accompanied by serious financial instability, vulnerability, and hardship for women. In fact, the researchers estimate that women lose anywhere between $312 and $1,018 dollars in the year after petitioning and further analysis indicates the women are not recouping these losses later.

The remainder of this article @  ScienceDaily.com   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150306102724.htm

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