What is Economic Abuse
Economic abuse is when one intimate partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources and opportunities and is designed to reinforce economic dependency or create economic instability through economic control, economic exploitation and economic sabotage.
This is where abusers use a variety of tactics to maintain control over their partners by forcing physical, emotional, and financial dependency and producing a continual fear which prevents women from challenging their actions frequently, a hidden or “invisible” form of abuse.
“Intimate Partner Violence contributes to “poverty, financial risk and financial insecurity for women, sometimes long after the relationship has ended”
The research suggests that economic abuse is more complex. Dr.Sharp (2008) identifies three different types of Economic Abuse:
1. Sabotage how you acquire money and economic resources
2. Restrict how you use money and economic resources
3. Exploit your ability to maintain economic resources
“The goal is always the same — to gain power and control in a relationship”
Domestic violence through a maintenance lens
• Involves a perpetrator using or misusing money which limits and controls their partner or ex-partner’s current and future actions and their freedom of choice which causes them harm. The child is the glue that binds the victim to the abuser post relationship and maintenance is the most effective tool to cause harm.
• Intentionally withholding child support is a deliberate effort to control, coerce and punish a person and is one component of the post relationship abuse wheel. What makes it so effective is that it is silent and invisible yet no less violent than other better known forms of abuse.