Economic abuse: a global perspective


By Dr Kathryn Royal, Research Officer at Surviving Economic Abuse 

Two years ago, SEA began a huge project: establishing what we know globally about economic abuse in the context of intimate partner violence.

The evidence base around economic abuse has grown so rapidly, moving on from it being understood as a form of emotional abuse to it being recognised as a distinct form of abuse. Our understanding of economic abuse has therefore also developed hugely in recent years. We felt that the time was right to bring together evidence and learning from a variety of sources from all over the world to paint a global picture of what we know.

It has been an enormous task and, as a researcher, it has felt overwhelming at times, but I’m so pleased that we are finally able to launch the findings of this research.

At SEA, we are proud to be led by victim-survivors’ experiences and by evidence, and we seek to work with others in our mission to raise awareness of and transform responses to economic abuse. This research demonstrates that. We want to share the best practice and learning we found from all over the globe so that others can use the findings to work towards a world where victim-survivors can be economically equal and live their lives free of abuse.

We know more about economic abuse than ever, but this report also identifies what we don’t know. There are gaps in knowledge and practice that we urgently need to fill to ensure that all victim-survivors can access economic safety and justice. The evidence we found highlighted that responses around the world vary and are impacted by global and local inequalities. Work is therefore needed to make sure that all victim-survivors can access justice and support. 

Whilst there remains so much that we don’t know, I sincerely hope that this research and its findings will be of use to people across many sectors and organisations. As the findings clearly show, economic abuse is a global issue and, in order to ensure all victim-survivors can access support and justice, we need a range of stakeholders to act. This report is therefore also a global call to action for researchers, policy-makers and governments, the financial sector, domestic abuse services and many others. We urge these stakeholders to deepen their understanding of economic abuse, learn from what is already known and create change. It is vital that all victim-survivors can receive a consistent response, no matter where in the world they live. The financial sector in particular represents a powerful international mechanism for change.

I am so proud to have produced this work for SEA, and I strongly hope that this research will lead to a much greater understanding of economic abuse and better responses for victim-survivors.  

Read the full report – Economic abuse: a global perspective

You can also read the shorter briefing note and the emerging strategic framework for understanding and responding to economic abuse.

If you would like to join our international network and receive a monthly newsletter sharing the latest news and research on economic abuse, please contact research@survivingeconomicabuse.org