Understanding the economics of abuse: an assessment of the economic abuse definition within the Domestic Abuse Bill

Sharp-Jeffs, Nicola (2021) Understanding the economics of abuse: an assessment of the economic abuse definition within the Domestic Abuse Bill. Journal of Gender-Based Violence. ISSN 2398-6808

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1332/239788220X16076181041680

Abstract / Description

The term ‘economic abuse’ was first introduced into discourse when it was identified as a tactic used by perpetrators within the Duluth Power and Control Wheel. Yet it is only recently that researchers have turned their attention to defining and understanding it. This article draws on a review of the global and UK specific academic research literature to assess the suitability of the definition of economic abuse put forward within the Westminster government’s Domestic Abuse Bill. It recommends that a) the term ‘any behaviour’ within the definition is understood to include controlling tactics which sit under the constructs of economic restriction, exploitation and/or sabotage, b) the definition recognises perpetrators will also prevent a partner from using/maintaining goods or services and, c) attention is given to the suggestion that single incidents of economic abuse would not fall under this definition. While the focus of this article is on Westminster policy in the UK, the case for ‘naming’ and defining economic abuse in statute has wider resonance, not least because it provides a framework within which to report on prevalence, hold perpetrators accountable and for services (statutory and voluntary) to respond.<br /><br />Key messages<br /><ul><li>This article critically assesses the definition of economic abuse within the Westminster government’s Domestic Abuse Bill and argues that there is ‘room for improvement’.</li><br /><li>The term ‘any behaviour’ within the definition of economic abuse should be understood to include controlling tactics which sit under the constructs of economic restriction, exploitation and/or sabotage.</li><br /><li>A clear understanding of the constructs of economic abuse is vital if the Westminster government is to report on prevalence (as required by the Istanbul Convention) and frontline practitioners are to understand and meet the complex needs of victim-survivors.</li></ul>

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref journal articles via Jisc Publications Router
Uncontrolled Keywords: Domestic Abuse Bill; coercive control; economic abuse; financial abuse; intimate partner violence
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences > 340 Law
Department: School of Social Sciences
SWORD Depositor: Pub Router
Depositing User: Pub Router
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2021 11:50
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2021 12:55
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/6307

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