What Is The Solution To The Economic Dependence Of Abused Women?

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The basic facts here are obvious enough, that women being abused in a domestic relationship may face economic pressures for them not to leave. For this is true of absolutely any domestic set up – we all face economic pressures about who we live with and how. The interesting question is what should we do about this? For to insist that women – and the claim is about women – should be able to be economically independent is to insist that someone, somewhere, must be picking up the cost of ensuring that independence. Who should that be?

Victims of domestic abuse face the choice of their families being plunged into homelessness and poverty, or staying with the abuser, a report has found. More than two-thirds of survivors of domestic abuse have reported their partners withheld money from them as a key method of controlling and mistreating them, according to the Women’s Aid report, The Economics of Abuse. “Fear of the financial implications kept me in the relationship for much longer than I would have if I had been financially independent,” one survivor told researchers. Another said: “I had to live on thin air when I left with my child. This caused much stress and I don’t think I have ever recovered.”

It’s quite obvious what the complainers about this think should happen. That the State – that is, you and me through the tax system – should be picking up this bill. We must be providing enough money for any and every woman to be economically independent so that they can live with or without a partner as they wish. Which is a fairly large claim really.

None of us are going to complain that someone who is being beaten black and blue daily has a claim on the welfare system to escape such beatings. But how much is that claim? To shelter and food until matters can be sorted? Until a job can be found and own feet stood upon? Or what I’d strongly expect is true here, that someone should be able to live well, raising their children, on the taxpayer’s shilling without the intervention of any partner? That being what proper economic independence probably means here.

That is, how far should this helping hand go? Or, how on the hook are the rest of us supposed to be for the living standards of others? A basic bit of aid in troubled times? Or the payment for a lifestyle forever?

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ShadeburstJonathan HarstonRhoda KlappJoannedavid Recent comment authors
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Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

I thought you believed in universal basic income*. This proposal, however, provides money (taxpayers money of course) to people who may be thought to need it. Why do the arguments expressed here in the last para not apply to UBI?

*If I’m mistaken, mea culpa.

timworstall
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timworstall

The important word to me in UBI is “basic”. £130 a week is a useful guide to the sort of income I mean. That’s not what these people are talking about at all.

david
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david

There should be a limit of one claimant per abuser. Otherwise, the taxpayer’s exposure would be nearly infinite. Such a limit would encourage due diligence on the part of both parties entering a new relationship.

Discuss

Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

This whole thing is fraught with difficulties. Nobody should be stuck with no support in a desperate situation, nobody should live of the taxpayer for ever. Subsidy should be time-limited (always, any subsidy) but we would get sob stories at the end of the time, people don’t like to have benefits removed. And of course, women lie. There is no expectation of proof for the way abuse is defined nowadays. No bruises are required. The correctly-planned complaint will result in the removal of the male and his access to the kids. If it came with a decent income and a… Read more »

Jonathan Harston
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Jonathan Harston

If there’s children the money should be extracted from the sperm donor with extreme prejudice. If there are no children, the ex-partner is at complete freedom to be economically independent the moment they walk out of the door.

Joanne
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Joanne

Domestic abuse is already costing society £66 billion a year, according to government research. If we supported more victims, there would be cost savings – less police call outs, less A&E visits, more victims being able to work and be financially independent rather than having to rely on welfare benefits and food banks, and children having less issues down the line from not having to witness violence at home. It’s clear that what we are doing at the moment isn’t enough to fix the problem.

Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

Support more victims, get more ‘victims’. Where did that £1000 per person per annum come from? It looks a little high.

Shadeburst
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Shadeburst

1. Economic independence is obviously an overstretch. Abused women with children should feel free to leave the relationship, knowing that their standard of living will not plunge. We’re talking about the right formula here.

2. Overwhelmingly, women and children are the victims of domestic violence. Tone it down to domestic abuse and men are equal sufferers.

3. Domestic violence has a cost and since it’s not productive, it costs us all and makes us poorer.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-cost-of-domestic-violence-is-astonishing/2018/02/22/f8c9a88a-0cf5-11e8-8b0d-891602206fb7_story.html?utm_term=.6d224bced081