This article describes research on the long term impacts of intimate partner violence, and how economic empowerment can be a lasting solution for survivors of abuse.
For survivors of intimate partner violence, economic empowerment can be a lasting solution to the cycle of abuse. For agencies helping survivors, understanding how financial burdens influence survivors’ ability to escape abusive relationships is a first step toward enabling empowerment. A recent study, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, has found that some established measures of economic empowerment are less effective for Spanish-speaking survivors – a finding worth underscoring as Hispanic and Latina women, in general, are less likely to access support resources. The study serves as a reminder that policies and practices for improving public safety and ensuring equal access to justice for victims of crime may only be as sound as the data underlying them, especially as it pertains to the role cultural differences play in the relationship between diverse communities and approaches to public safety.
The research described in this article was funded by NIJ grant 2017-VA-CX-0032, awarded to the Center on Violence Against Women and Children, Rutgers University School of Social Work. This article is based on the grantee report “Testing and Validating Financial Measures with Intimate Partner Violence Survivors,” by Judy L. Postmus, Ph.D., ACSW, Kristina Nikolova, Ph.D., and Iris Cardenas, LSW.