Photo: Employment for Survivors

Employment for Survivors

For further information specific to supporting IPV survivors in the workplace please see the following resources:

Employment is a crucial aspect of a survivor’s health and well-being and has a significant impact on their quality of life.1 Having a stable job means survivors have access to basic needs, such as safe accommodations, food security, and disability supports. Employment also promotes survivors’ physical safety, improves their self-esteem and social-connectedness, and provides mental respite and a purpose in life.2

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and intimate partner violence (IPV) can impact a survivor’s ability to seek and keep employment. Traumatic brain injury can lead to cognitive challenges such as problems with attention, memory, concentration, and planning, that may affect a survivor’s ability to work.2-3 Individuals returning to work after sustaining a TBI also report anxiety, depression, and mood disturbances that negatively impact work performance.2

Intimate partner violence has also been found to lead to poorer employment outcomes. IPV can affect a survivor’s job stability not only while the abuse is occurring, but even many years after the abuse ends.4 When the abuse is occurring, survivors may experience workplace disruptions from perpetrators that lead to loss of paid work time and high rates of job loss and turnover.5 Post-abuse, survivors may continue to suffer from mental health and financial challenges that affect their ability to seek and sustain employment.4

Given the importance of employment among survivors of IPV and TBI, it is important that front-line workers are aware of the unique challenges experienced by survivors of IPV and TBI and the ways they can be supported in seeking and keeping employment.

Print or download the infographic below to share with your staff or your clients.


1Libeson, L., Downing, M., Ross, P., & Ponsford, J. (2020). The experience of return to work in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI): A qualitative study. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 30(3), 412-429. DOI: 10.1080/09602011.2018.1470987

2Rothman, E. F., Hathaway, J., Stidsen, A., de Vries, H. F. (2007). How employment helps female victims of intimate partner violence: A qualitative study. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 12(2), 135-43. Doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.12.2.136

3Scaratti, C., Leonardi, M., Sattin, D., Schiavolin, S., Willems, M., & Raggi, A. (2016). Work-related difficulties in patients with traumatic brain injury: A systematic review on predictors and associated factors. Disability and Rehabilitation, 39(9), 847-855.

4Adams, A. E., Bybee, D., Tolman, R. M., Sullivan, C. M., & Kennedy, A. C. (2013). Does job stability mediate the relationship between intimate partner violence and mental health among low-income women? American Journal of Orthhopsychiatry, 83(4), 600-608.

5Swanberg, J. E., Logan, T. K., & Macke, C. (2005). Intimate partner violence, employment, and the workplace: Consequences and future directions. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 6(4), 286-312.

6Showalter, K., & McCloskey, R. J. (2020). A qualitative study of intimate partner violence and employment instability. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-26. DOI: 10.1177/0886260520903140

7 Matérne, M., Lundqvist, L., Strandberg, T. (2017). Opportunities and barriers for successful return to work after acquired brain injury: A patient perspective. Work, 56, 125-134.

8McRae, P., Hallab, L., Simpson, G. (2016). Navigating employment pathways and supports following brain injury in Australia: Client perspectives. The Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 22(2), 76-92. Doi: 10.1017/jrc.2016.14