Economic abuse

  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and the Family and Youth Services Bureau, Division of Family Violence Prevention and Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, October 2020 Understanding Substance Use Coercion as a Barrier to Economic Stability for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Policy Implications.

    This policy brief “seeks to further the limited research, policy, and practice on substance use coercion and to increase awareness about this issue among relevant stakeholders.”

    Extract:

    WHAT IS SUBSTANCE USE COERCION?

    Substance use coercion occurs when perpetrators of intimate partner violence undermine and control their partners through substance-use related tactics and actively keep them from meeting treatment and recovery goals.

    WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF SUBSTANCE USE COERCION?

    Substance use coercion can take many forms. For example, an abuser may:

    • Force, initiate, or pressure their partner to use substances.
    • Sabotage their partner’s recovery efforts by deliberately keeping substances around their home.
    • Refuse to provide their partner with childcare or transportation needed to participate in substance use treatment.

    HOW COMMON IS SUBSTANCE USE COERCION?

    A survey of National Domestic Violence Hotline callers who had experienced domestic violence revealed that 43 percent of respondents had experienced at least one of three types of substance use coercion:

    • Had a partner pressure or force them to use substances;
    • Had a partner threaten to report their substance use to the authorities to keep them from getting something they wanted or needed; and/or
    • Were afraid to call the police because a partner said they would not be believed or they would be arrested based on substance use.