Survivors of abuse are normally left with low self-esteem and little self-confidence. Both of which seriously impact their ability to make decisions or take specific actions to move forward in their lives. Searching for new employment becomes a monumental challenge. Without help, many victims find themselves in demeaning and sometimes violent situations. Once you are a victim of abuse you can only begin a new life with nonviolent surroundings. Finding jobs with adequate wages that are documented as safe places can be challenging. Many communities have come together for just this reason and created organizations to guide people to the best available jobs.
Those Who Know
Abuse comes in many fashions but every form is damaging to the victim. Sexual, physical and mental maltreatment all leave deep scars embedded in the souls of the survivors. Even escaping the act doesn’t stop the rage and distrust created by it and all of this affects your chance of finding a great job. Those who actually succeeded at starting a new life realized the desperate need for expansive resources for job placement. These people formed groups to help victims find jobs, counselling and a new way of living. Having the knowledge that only comes from experience inspired them to become counsellors, police officers and victim advocates. Many victims run abuse shelters and maintain an endless list of safe places to live and work.
Seek And You Shall Find
There is a broad spotlight on domestic violence which is working diligently to reduce the number of disastrous ends associated with leaving the abuser or re-entering the work force. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides abuse shelters that include a huge database for housing, counselling and jobs to aid victims. Often times there are employment opportunities at the shelter itself or in an affiliated program. If you are a victim- even if you didn’t live at a shelter- go to one and ask how and where to find a safe job. Or call the national abuse hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) to find the help you need.
Often, people that escape this traumatic life never want to look back- understandably. But-it is so important to remember what you overcame. It’s necessary to stretch out a helping hand to those just finding the courage to take the same path you just walked. You may get strong enough to open a new non-profit organization to provide more jobs or more safe places to live.
The Effects on Employment
There are businesses that partner with groups fighting domestic violence. These companies are aware of the abusers ability to seek and find their spouses and offer the victims support and safety. They understand the increased absenteeism, the high costs of medical care and the reduction in productivity. Companies that have been educated in the after effects of abuse work with the victims to improve and overcome their feelings of guilt and shame. Some companies like Burger King have taken the lead, offering assistance with employment of victims of domestic abuse. Offering time off for counselling, encouraging them to express their fears to safety groups, and ensuring a source of financial gain all contribute to healing the injured soul.
Women escaping domestic abuse are understandably insecure. They are ridden with guilt and shame. Those feelings are normal and just part of the damage they suffer at the hand of their abusers. Counselling helps, there’s no question about that-however finding a job that empowers them is often the best cure of all.
Jobs that allow victims to help people are usually great healers. The police officer that comes to the home of an abuse call understands what is really going on because she once lived there. She can see things that seem unimportant to others and realize how dire the situation really is. The 911 operator that takes that call may make it a higher priority because she too was once a victim. Helping others always makes you feel better about yourself. Not everyone is cut out for that type of employment, but there are many ways to help others. Working in shelters to provide other victims with resources and guidance is a big first step. Starting a day care for children of abused families is crucial to ending the cycle of abuse. You can offer special education help for the mother and the kids to move forward in their lives and raise their self-esteem while working on your own. Evaluate where the greatest need is before you choose your new position in life. Is it in the legal field, can you become a lawyer, maybe, if not you can become a paralegal and offer the legal assistance to your fellow sufferers. You may choose to become a family service specialist that helps others set goals and teaches them how to reach them. You can also consider joining corporation non-profits including Rally’s joint application for employment for victims of domestic violence. Start a hotline service for job placement and educational benefits, or simply start as a volunteer until you are ready to enter the workforce.
Abuse Limited To The Poor
While the impression is that poor women are the ones most often abused, it doesn’t affect just this class of people. There are many well known cases of abuse in wealthy families and that can be more difficult to escape from. The wealthy abuser has power and financial resources to impede the victim’s chance of starting over or getting a job. Some law firms are now targeting the needs of abused women and hire survivors to assist them. They help with the immigration problems that may keep a victim from leaving the situation and even devise methods where clients can receive child support or alimony without being endangered. If you can’t think of one single position that entices you, go online and do a simple job search for ideas. Many agencies now offer jobs specifically for abused women.
Find Your Passion
Ask yourself what you would really like to do with your life-there is no age limit for education. You have an opportunity to become a nurse, a counsellor, a teacher or anything else you want. What will be most rewarding to you will also be of great help to someone else. Don’t live in the shadow of abuse, take control of your life and step over that line of isolation and humiliation. You are a survivor.
Women are still waiting for The Equal Pay Act from fifty years ago to actually be enforced. Results are hideously low. Since its inception the female to male wage gap has only closed seventeen percent and even those figures are skewed. Part of that is actually because men’s wages dropped and not because women’s were raised. Women have proven repeatedly that they are not the weaker sex. They are not afraid of hard work and they are quite capable of learning.
How Long Will It Take
In 1983 a mere twenty years later it became a requirement for men and women performing the same job to receive the same pay rates. Those who controlled the checkbooks found a way around this too. They simply didn’t permit the advancement of women to administrative positons. Black women had the most experience in the labor force and their chances of advancing into supervisory roles or higher were almost completely blocked. This was especially true for minority women but also affected all races and religions. Since growth in this area of fairness is so slow and has been addressed so often you have to wonder if these prejudices are still intact. Have the owners and corporations found another way to avoid the inevitable? Will women ever be treated as equals?
In today’s world many families are supported entirely by the mother. There are so many men that have decided they don’t want to be the provider and instead become the homemaker or simply do nothing. This isn’t new, this has been going on for many years and the trend is more and more popular it seems. This situation has increased the number of families living on less and the women working harder. Don’t get excited though, that promise of equal pay is coming. The government expects the gap to be closed in Wyoming by 2159 at the longest. The state of Florida is far ahead of that schedule, they expect to close that spread by 2038- some of us might live long enough to see it happen. Of course, those are just projected closures. Wyoming women- guess you better plan on keeping those two jobs for now, but maybe your grandchildren will witness true equality. More corporation should follow the lead of companies like McDonald’s – who started an equal pay McDonald’s online application in 2004.
Women have consistently increased their roles in the employment community. There are fewer jobs reserved just for men, including hard physical labor. Police officers, emergency medical technicians, doctors and lawyers- women have not only invaded these positions they have proven to be excellent in their performance. Yet they often are paid less to do the same job. What has to be done to have this act enforced? Should women start their own revolution? Do they have to march in Washington until they recognize their value? Perhaps that is what it will take. When will the government step in and demand what women are entitled to- equal pay for equal work? Not until a strong group of women band together and demand it. That’s when.