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Valiant Voices:
Conversations with Human Rights Advocates and Survivors

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About the Series

Valiant Voices is a series that features conversations between human rights advocates and survivors, addressing injustice and disrupting oppressive systems that cause harm. These are the stories of powerful leaders creating change in their communities and around the world.

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Economic Abuse — The Invisible Barrier to Safety and Security

March 26, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Central / 1:00 – 2:00 p.m Eastern

Presenters:  Shamita Das Dasgupta, Cofounder Manavi, Meseret Haileyesus , Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment, Noureen Wallani and Paweena Yang, Domestic Abuse Project

Moderator:  Vayuna Gupta, Legal and Policy Advisor, Global Rights for Women


Eight in 10 survivors of domestic violence cite financial abuse as their primary barrier to leaving an abusive relationship, and 99% of them experience it. The average survivor has access to only $300 in assets. That’s why financial dependence as a means of controlling partners, through withholding money and controlling credit, employment and assets is so effective. The impact of economic abuse on self-sufficiency can become a lifelong struggle, impacting where someone may live and work, get credit (or not), support child-parent relationships and sustain good health. 


Far too often, people individualize recovery from financial abuse as a household or budgeting issue. Yet systemic policies and practices, including racial and gender inequities, and cultural norms about money management, make people doubly vulnerable to economic abuse from both the (former) partner and institutions.  It’s imperative that systems advocates, workplaces, and banks understand the seemingly invisible dynamics of intimate partner economic abuse, and how changing practices that result in unequal power dynamics can give survivors the economic empowerment they need to lead lives free from violence.

 Amitheni Keefe, DAP

“We have a high regard for Global Rights for Women and have been grateful for the work, influence, and platform you provide for both the movement and the community.”

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