Domestic Economic Abuse: The Violence of Money

Domestic Economic Abuse

Domestic Economic Abuse : The Violence of Money
 Routledge Advances in Sociology
By (author)  Supriya Singh
Supriya Singh tells the stories of 12 Anglo-Celtic and Indian women in Australia who survived economic abuse. She describes the lived experience of coercive control underlying economic abuse across cultures.

Each story shows how the woman was entrapped and lost her freedom because her husband denied her money, appropriated her assets and sabotaged her ability to be in paid work. These stories are about silence, shame and embarrassment that this could happen despite professional and graduate education. Some of the women were the main earners in their household. Women spoke of being afraid, of trying to leave, of losing their sense of self. Many suffered physical and mental ill-health, not knowing what would trigger the violence. Some attempted suicide. Most did not recognise they were suffering economic abuse and that this was family violence.

The stories show that story is also different as money as a medium of care becomes a medium of abuse when used without morality. Economic abuse does not rest with a particular cultural practice. It happens across cultures. Economic abuse is shaped by the way women and men own, manage and control money in various cultures. The women’s stories demonstrate the importance of talking about money and relationships with future partners, across life stages and with their sons and daughters. They saw this as an essential step for preventing and lessening economic abuse in the cultural context of the gender and morality of money. Economic abuse gets shaped by the way women and men manage, use, control and think about money. They also show the importance of sociologists of money going further than studying management and control through decision making.

A vital read for scholars of domestic abuse and family violence that will also be valuable for sociologists of money.