Addressing financial domestic violence

Economic abuse (also known as financial abuse) is a pattern of behaviour where the abuser ‘maintain[s] power and control over their partners’ economic resources’. This action reduces the victim’s capacity to support themselves and they are forced to depend on the perpetrator financially.

Despite the progress made during the women’s human rights movement in the 1990s (including the 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women), financial domestic violence has not received the attention it deserves.

There has been success for victims of domestic violence more generally who have brought cases before the CEDAW Committee under the Option Protocol. In A.T. v Hungary, the first domestic violence case before the committee, the committee clearly stated that failure to protect women from domestic violence is a form of discrimination and human rights violati

Thus, this case defined the state’s due diligence obligation to end domestic violence under international law. Although A.T. concerned violent physical abuse, and based its analysis on General Recommendation 19, on violence against women, there is no reason in principle why this due diligence obligation should not apply to FDV.

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