Thursday, October 16, 2008

Domestic Violence and the Economy

Women's Resource Center has had a deluge of calls this week asking us to comment on the media's new favorite story: increases in domestic violence during tough economic times.

What we know is that when batterers are placed in negative situations that they cannot control, loss of their job or retirement savings for example, they seek out situations and people that they can control. Those most accessible are often their spouse or partner and their children.

However, tough economic times or feelings of being out of control do not cause domestic violence, and putting the financial situation in our country back under control will not be a magical cure. Poverty has long bred domestic violence (though abuse effects families of all income classes) and a lack of monetary resources for survivors trying to leave their relationships makes finding safety that much harder. What we do need to cure domestic violence is a world full of men and women who respect one another as partners and equals, and who are willing to commit their limited resources to providing options for women and children seeking safety.

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