Economic Ripple Effect of IPV: Building Partnerships for Systemic Change

by Sara Shoener, Erika Sussman | November 20, 2013

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Article in the August/September 2013 issue of the Domestic Violence Report. The reciprocal relationship between intimate partner violence (IPV) and poverty is well documented. Batterers create economic instability for their partners through economic sabotage and control. And poverty, in turn, creates increased vulnerability to violence and additional barriers to safety. While the domestic violence literature has highlighted the importance of economic security for survivors, few researchers have examined the breadth and long-term impact of batterers' deliberate actions to sabotage survivors' economic security. Indirect and lasting economic consequences ripple throughout survivors' lives long after the abuse has stopped, compounding their effects and creating increased vulnerability to future abuse. In this article, we identify the dimensions of economic harms experienced by survivors and recommend programmatic responses to address the full depth of these harms. These recommendations are based on data collected from survivors, advocates, and attorneys, through interviews, a national needs assessment, and over a decade of technical assistance work.