The Wage Gap Impacts those who Experience Violence

By Christina Hale

Per capita income has been on the decline in Indiana since 1962.  Household income has been on the decline since the early 2000’s.

It is true that more Hoosiers are working than ever before, however, we assume that means only good things.
The sad truth is that this seemingly happy fact cloaks the reality that now more people in the family have to work to support the household.  That can be stressful, as daycare and other costs associated with household financial survival become ever more pressing.
The economics of families in Indiana have changed in a fairly short timeframe.  It was  not that long ago that most Hoosier families could be supported by one breadwinner in the house.  That is no longer the case.  In our sate, the wage gap means that women make less than 80 cents on the dollar compared to their male colleagues working the same jobs.  Further, one of the top stress factors for families and couples is the issue of money.  Social science and common sense alike tell us that more stressed out families on financially thin ice means more fighting.
Added to the stress of income, those who experience violence have less means to leave an abusive relationship. Further, the practice of paying women less perpetuates the mentality of an abuser by communicating that women are not as valuable as men. When society engages in this type of misogyny, those who abuse are left embolden and those experience violence are left defeated.
It isn’t always easy to be a family.  The Domestic Violence Network recognizes this and works with service providers to offer assistance to those in need.  But that is not enough. We need to get the word out, and we need our community to help us resource the solution-oriented approach we pursue everyday for people here in our neighborhoods throughout Central Indiana.  We can expect more change in the economy over time, and while we hope for better days, we must prepare for present and future realities that are not so sunny.  We cannot make a dent on our own, but together we can with your voice, advocacy, and financial assistance.