Welfare policies in the United States now make benefits contingent on employment outside the home. Yet violence from intimate partners and aspects of the mothering role may impede low-income women's ability to sustain employment. This article presents results of a longitudinal study conducted over a three-year period of 965 Illinois mothers who had received public assistance. Results suggest that recent (but not past) intimate partner violence is associated with women working fewer months. Associations over time between obstacles to employment and women's ability to maintain work highlight the need for longitudinal studies of employment among low-income women.