research to policy and practice
Domestic violence and women’s economic security: Building Australia’s capacity for prevention and redress: Key findings and future directions
Domestic violence exacerbates economic inequality, as both economic abuse, and other tactics of violence, generate costs for women and contribute to financial instability and stress.
Australia’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 recognises the importance of economic wellbeing to the capacity of women and children to rebuild their lives following violence (Department of Social Services, 2014). Consistent with this recognition, and with Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (ANROWS, 2014), this research was designed to support initiatives to improve women’s economic circumstances following violence. In particular, the research was designed to explore:
- the impact of violence on women’s economic status;
- the efficacy and limitations of existing approaches, policies and programs relating to women’s economic security; and
- ways to more effectively build women’s economic security following violence.
This paper discusses how economic abuse is a frequent tactic of violence. However, service systems are not well equipped to prevent, identify and respond to financial abuse or the other economic harms associated with violence. Financial issues, including the prospect of leaving property or assets behind, are a major factor in women’s decisions about leaving or staying in violent relationships. The economic difficulties arising from violence, including loss of wealth upon separation, reverberate through women’s lives and increase hardship in the long-term.
ANROWS Compass (Research to policy and practice papers) are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.
DR NATASHA CORTIS
Research Fellow, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia
DR JANE BULLEN
Research Associate, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia
ISSN: 2204-9622 (print) 2204-9630 (online)