The aftermath young women face after being victims of dating violence has been known to stretch on for years.
New research suggests many of those women will also experience less education and lower earnings compared to women who weren’t abused.
Conducted at Michigan State University, the first-of-its-kind study appears in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Lead researcher Adrienne Adams, who is an assistant professor of psychology, has previously worked in a shelter that housed victims of domestic violence.
She and her colleagues examined survey data from roughly 500 single mothers for their report.
The participants who indicated having been victims of dating violence were found to have received significantly less education on average.
From her experience working with such victims, Adams points out that earning potential can sometimes play a role in perpetuating more violence.
“It was woman after woman coming into the shelter trying to find a job and a house she could afford – trying to reestablish life on her own,” she said. “Many women would end up going back to their abusive relationship because they couldn’t make it on their own financially.”
The study reports that for every year of education gained among the participants, it represented an additional $855 in annual earnings, or in most cases, more than 10 percent.
On average, the participants earned less than $7,000 annually and averaged 32 years of age.
“Providing educational and career-development support for women who are abused seems like an obvious choice in terms of societal investment,” Adams said.