Supriya Singh tells the stories of 12 Anglo-Celtic and Indian women in Australia who survived economic abuse. She describes the lived experience of coercive control underlying economic abuse across cultures.
Each story shows how the woman was trapped and lost her freedom because her husband denied her money, appropriated her assets and sabotaged her ability to be in paid work. These stories are about silence, shame and embarrassment that this could happen despite professional and graduate education. Some of the women were the main earners in their household. Women spoke of being afraid, of trying to leave, of losing their sense of self. Many suffered physical and mental ill-health, not knowing what would trigger the violence. Some attempted suicide. None of the women fully realised they were suffering family violence through economic abuse, whilst it was happening to them.
The stories of Anglo-Celtic and Indian women show economic abuse is not associated with a specific system of money management and control. It is when the morality of money is betrayed that control becomes coercive. Money as a medium of care then becomes a medium of abuse.
The women’s stories demonstrate the importance of talking about money and relationships with future partners, across life stages and with their sons and daughters. The women saw this as an essential step for preventing and lessening economic abuse.
A vital read for scholars of domestic abuse and family violence that will also be valuable for sociologists of money.
ISBN: ISBN 9781032014319, Published May 31, 2023 by Routledge