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Criminal Records & Employment Rights: A Tool for Advocates Working with Domestic Violence Survivors and a Tool for Survivors

Erika Sussman

Many survivors of domestic violence find themselves with criminal records. Oftentimes this is due to coerced criminal acts, experienced at the hands of their partner. Sometimes, this is a result of a misguided criminal justice system response to their partner’s abuse (for example, a dual arrest). Whatever the reason, survivors who have a criminal record face enormous challenges in accessing employment and economic security. If you are an advocate working with a survivor who has a criminal record and is seeking employment, this tool may be helpful to you. The following information is designed to help you to 1) better understand the employment rights of survivors who have criminal records and 2) offer tips and resources to survivors as they prepare for the job application and interview process, attend job interviews, and respond to a decision by a prospective employer.

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