Abstract Using data from the Colombian Demographic and Health Survey, I document a positive association between intimate partner violence against women and the likelihood of women’s employment. This finding persists when I exploit the husband’s own childhood experience of abuse as a source of plausibly exogenous variation for the incidence of domestic violence. To explore potential mechanisms underlying this association, I use a mediation analysis in the presence of intermediate confounders. I find suggestive evidence that a woman’s decision-making power—measured by active input in household and healthcare decisions—as well as a measure for willingness to divorce are likely mediators. I argue that abused women may hold jobs to increase their economic independence and potentially exit abusive relationships.