homeless welfare mothers: 92% sexually abused, assaulted FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:41:11 -0800 (PST)


FWD from http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/august96/0828.html

STUDY FINDS HIGH PERCENTAGE OF WELFARE MOTHERS SUFFER VIOLENT ABUSE

According to a study of welfare mothers in Worcester, Massachusetts, the
lifetime prevalence of violent abuse against welfare mothers is
significantly higher than the 20 to 40 percent reported by women overall in
the U.S. Of homeless welfare mothers in Worcester, 92 percent had
experienced sexual assault(s) or severe physical violence at some point in
their lives as did 82 percent of welfare mothers with homes.

Better Homes Fund president and Harvard Medical School associate professor
of psychiatry Ellen L. Bassuk, principal author of the study, called the
level of violent abuse revealed by the study "horrifying" and noted that
the welfare reforms may push more women in homelessness.

Welfare mothers with and without homes both suffered more than women in the
general U.S. population from conditions associated with assault and
violence such as major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and
alcohol and drug abuse. However, the study, published in Wednesday's
Journal of the American Medical Association, indicated that the incidence
of schizophrenia among welfare mothers was no higher than among the general
U.S. population.

The University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester conducted the
study with the Better Homes Fund of Newton, Mass. Other studies have shown
that half of all women on welfare are victims of domestic violence.

[Source: The Washington Post - August 28, 1996]

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