After examining the features of economic self-efficacy and how this may be undermined in victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), this report suggests services that can empower IPV survivors through economic self-efficacy.
“Self-efficacy” is an “individual’s confidence in her or his perceived ability to perform a specific task or behavior.” Self-efficacy is an important feature needed to change one’s behavior. “Economic self-efficacy” is “the perceived ability to perform economic or financial tasks,” and is an important feature of positive financial behavior. Research indicates that “financial illiteracy” is more prevalent among women than men; and in an abusive intimate relationship, economic abuse is most often perpetrated by men. A survivor of IPV is often restricted by the abuser from accessing financial resources, which then limits her ability to perform constructive financial behaviors. The perpetrator may also manage finances without input or agreement from the survivor. The abuser’s intent is to prevent her from improving her financial situation and to exploit her financial resources. In such cases, it is important that survivor services include the development of economic self-efficacy. Suggested services include financial counseling, activities that increase confidence in managing finances, and a discussion of psychological distress that may have undermined a survivor’s confidence in her ability to develop and manage financial resources.
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