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Economic Abuse in the Life of Survivors

NCJ Number
Date Published
1 page

This overview of economic abuse in the lives of survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) identifies it as a distinctive type of abuse, describes the forms it may take, and reviews its coexistence with other forms of IPV. 


Economic abuse in an intimate partner relationship typically occurs to women in an abusive relationship and is a practice of male abusers in forcing female partners to be financially dependent on them, making it more difficult for them to leave the relationship. Tactics of economic abuse include ruining the partner’s ability to buy on credit, controlling the amount of money the partner spends, and discouraging or preventing the partner from entering or sustaining employment that will provide her a separate source of income. One study of IPV survivors found that within the last 12 months, 94 percent experienced physical abuse; 95 percent experienced psychological abuse; 94 percent experienced economic control by the abuser; 92 percent experienced behaviors of economic control; 88 percent experienced employment sabotage; and 79 percent experienced economic exploitation. The study concluded that women who experience economic abuse are four times more likely to experience physical abuse.