Online Program

Economic abuse in the lives of survivors of intimate partner violence: Provider and survivor perspectives

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rachel Voth Schrag, MSW, LCSW, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Background: One in four American women experience Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in their lifetime. IPV includes physical, emotional, sexual, and economic abuse. While the nature of the first three forms have received attention, economic abuse (EA) is less understood. EA includes the use of exploitative or controlling tactics to destroy access to economic resources and prevent economic decision-making. Aims: This study evaluates the perceptions of IPV service providers and survivors regarding their experiences of EA and the needs that EA creates for women attempting to establish safety away from an abusive partner. Methods: Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews with current IPV service providers, and through textual analysis of survivor narratives in online repositories. The study took a phenomenological approach to data collection, coding, and theme development. Results: Themes included: provider and survivor perspectives on the most salient aspects of EA, on the future impact of EA on women's lives and decision making, on women's responses to and strengths in the face of EA, and on the needs of women attempting to rebuild their lives after EA. Participants expressed differing perspectives on the impact of EA and the needs of women. Conclusions: EA jeopardizes women's future physical and economic safety. Women employ a variety of tactics to address EA in their lives, and express specific needs in the face of EA. This study sheds new light on the obstacles women face in addressing economically abusive behaviors. Differences between provider and survivor perspectives suggest the need for additional investigation.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe intimate partner violence service providers’ perspectives on the needs and experiences of women who have experienced extreme forms of economic abuse. Identify discrepancies in the viewpoints of IPV service providers and IPV survivors regarding their experiences and needs surrounding economic abuse.

Keyword(s): Women, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis specializing my studies on the association between intimate partner violence and poverty. I am also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Missouri and a former intimate partner violence service provider.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.