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Economic abuse and hardship

Assistant Professor Rachel Voth Schrag

Assistant Professor Rachel Voth Schrag

One in four women and nearly one in 10 men experience intimate partner violence (IPV) during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an effort to broaden our understanding of the topic, social work Assistant Professor Rachel Voth Schrag, alumna Kristen E. Ravi, and doctoral student Sarah R. Robinson published a study on the link between one form of IPV—economic abuse—and economic hardship.

“Economic abuse is not just about someone taking your cash,” explains Dr. Voth Schrag. “It may also involve withholding things that make someone feel economically secure. That can include preventing or limiting work or school hours, damaging credit history, or making unilateral decisions.”

The study, published in the Journal of Family Violence, found that behaviors related to economic abuse are linked to employment and housing instability, increased use of public assistance, greater material hardship, and other negative consequences. The researchers determined that developing effective strategies to address these economic consequences is central to disrupting cycles of victimization.

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