Poverty and violence patterns function in an intertwined way for poor women. Because of patriarchal and conservative structure of welfare state in many countries, women's, especially poor women's, dependency on men becomes life-long due to their care taking responsibilities, lack of regular income, adequate education and work skills, decent work opportunities, health insurance and social security. Thus, women often do not have a say in determining their own lives. Such a dependency is itself a major contributing factor in male violence against women. Besides, efforts to increase female employment do not seem to have alleviated neither women's poverty nor domestic violence mainly due to poor conditions in the labour market. This study in general aims to discuss the issues of the welfare, employment and dependency of women and the condition of battered women with regard to gender and family in the welfare state. For this purpose, first, in the process of fight with domestic violence, the obligations of the state arising from the international treaties on women's rights and the prevention of violence against women and the influence of the national and international women's movement in this process are reviewed and analyzed. Second, the role and impact of the patriarchal family structure are questioned in the process of welfare regime transformation in Turkey. Third, the problem of domestic violence as public matter rather than a sole private nuisance, increased state involvement in preventing violence against women and the impact of EU negotiations and women's movement on this process are evaluated. Finally, the study examines the role of women's shelters in the struggle against violence and their contribution to women's welfare and wellbeing during and after their stay in the shelters in the light of the findings of a field study carried out with the battered women living in women's shelters in Turkey. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.