A Multi-Systems Life Course Perspective of Economic Abuse

Kameri Christy, Dr. Valandra


Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women slowly moved out of the private sphere and into the public realm in the United States in the early 1970’s. While progress has been made regarding psychological, physical, and sexual trauma related to IPV, it has been only in the last decade that attention about IPV has included an examination of the impact of economic abuse (EA). This is disturbing given that EA is one of the eight spokes on the Power and Control wheel (PCW) and many women state that they are not able to leave or get away from the abusive relationship due to financial reasons. Using a multi-systems life course (MSLC) perspective, this paper considers the importance of elevating EA as a form of IPV-related trauma. We examine EA’s differential impact among women, review current practices and policies, and conclude with implications for micro, mezzo, and macro levels of trauma-informed practice with survivors of EA.


economic abuse; multi-systems life course; culturally responsive practices

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18060/21288

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