New form of Domestic Abuse: Economic Abuse

You thought a family where both partners worked was gender balanced? Think again!

STP Team
Jan 03, 2015 14:19 IST
New form of Domestic Abuse:  Economic Abuse



Double-income household may paint a progressive image on the outside, but what’s going on inside may still be cause for despair.


According to a Newvision article, a new form of domestic violence is on the rise, apart from physical battering of a female partner, called economic abuse.



Yvette Alal, the senior programme manager at Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention, says in the Newvision analysis that women also contribute to the financials of a family, yet these educated, strong and independent women are also victims of domestic violence.



`A man sees it as a form of emasculation, if his wife has a formal job and can afford to fend for herself. Out of spite, a man tends to take advantage of this secure financial standing of his partner by completely shirking off financial responsibility of the house.


“When a man knows that you are earning a salary, they will sit back and resign from the responsibilities of the home. And when you ask for something, they will ask you about your salary,” Alal observes.


Additionally, women are made to service loans that were taken in their name by the husband, under the pretext of making family investments. Some men also attach their wive’s names on the family’s utility bills, and the wife is compelled to pay them all, or deal with the consequences.


As for the housewives who are completely dependent on their husbands to run the house, they find it inconvenient and rather demeaning to give an account of every single penny spent.



Lillian Byarugaba, the head of the legal aid clinic at FIDA Uganda, says some women are denied enough access to disposable income, and have no money to spend on themselves. “There are certain things that you sometimes cannot tell your husband because you find them rather feminine and he may not understand,” she notes.



And things get worse when these women are abandoned by their husbands, in rented houses with not even enough money left for their child’s tuition. Women, who are allowed to do petty trading jobs hardly have enough of a turnover, and even that is taken away by the men by force in most cases. Muslim men, who are officially polygamous, in fact use one wife’s money to give to another.

Byarugaba notes that it’s almost impossible to check financial abuse and seek legal redress because many women do not keep document their financial contribution to the home and therefore have no evidence.

“We are sensitising women to keep their receipts and other documents that show financial transactions such that in case they need to seek the intervention of the law, they have proof for their claims,” she says.




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Report by

Binjal Shah


#Gender disparity #Women at workplace #working women