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Economically Empowering Survivors of Domestic Violence Judy L. Postmus, Ph. D. , ACSW Center Economically Empowering Survivors of Domestic Violence Judy L. Postmus, Ph. D. , ACSW Center on Violence Against Women and Children

What we know about Domestic Violence • Economic factors are the largest predictor of What we know about Domestic Violence • Economic factors are the largest predictor of whether a women stays, leaves or goes back to an abusive relationship • Abusers use multiple strategies to maintain power & control over a period of time (e. g. physical, emotional, sexual) • Another strategy used is economic abuse: – “Economic abuse involves behaviors that control a woman’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain economic resources, thus threatening her economic security and potential for self -sufficiency. ” Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Understanding Economic Abuse • Key to determining if economic abuse is present in a Understanding Economic Abuse • Key to determining if economic abuse is present in a relationship centers on the lack of cooperation and discussion on financial decisions • Examples include: – Discouraging or preventing employment or furthering their education – Monitor work activities by tracking pay or disrupting her day – Insisting on accounting for all expenditures – Running up credit or debt, excessive gambling, purposefully ruining credit scores – Make important financial decisions without discussing with partner Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Consequences of Economic Abuse Poverty Stressful home environment Greater economic dependence on abuser Greater Consequences of Economic Abuse Poverty Stressful home environment Greater economic dependence on abuser Greater uncertain economic future Greater risk for depression, anxiety, or physical health problems • Vulnerable to poor educational & employment success • Damaged self-esteem and self-efficacy • Forces women to choose between staying in abusive relationship or face poverty and/or homelessness • • • Center on Violence Against Women and Children

What we know about Financial Literacy • Most financial literacy programs created in late What we know about Financial Literacy • Most financial literacy programs created in late 1990 s based on: – Economic crisis in families & communities – Technological changes & market innovation – A rise in questionable mortgage lending practices – Increase in consumers’ gaining early and greater access to credit – Changes in demographics (i. e. influx of immigrants) (Braunstein & Welch, 2002) Center on Violence Against Women and Children

What we know about Financial Literacy • Financial education programs have been designed for: What we know about Financial Literacy • Financial education programs have been designed for: – Women (Anthes, 2000; De. Vaney et al. , 1996) – Individuals in the workplace (Garman, Kim, Kratzer, Brunson, Joo, 1999) – Native Americans (Malkin, 2003) – College students (Borden, Lee, Serifo, & Collins 2008; Perry & Morris, 2005) – High school students (Bernheim, Garrett, & Maki, 2001; Johnson & Sherraden, 2007) – Low income individuals (Zhan, Anderson, & Scott, 2006) Center on Violence Against Women and Children

What we don’t know about Financial Literacy • How does financial literacy affect the What we don’t know about Financial Literacy • How does financial literacy affect the cycle of domestic violence? • Some have postulated that economic empowerment, higher education levels and stronger financial contributions may lessen economic and physical abuse • Financial literacy is essential for escaping all forms of abuse & poverty Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Financial Literacy as part of DV services • Little is known about how financial Financial Literacy as part of DV services • Little is known about how financial literacy programs may help domestic violence survivors and what effect it may have on the cycle of violence • Historical resistance to incorporate financial education into domestic violence services – Long term financial planning vs. crisis intervention – Information provided is inconsistent and incomplete – Concern over lack of funding (Von. De. Linde, 2002) Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Financial Literacy as part of DV services • Recent research suggests domestic violence clients Financial Literacy as part of DV services • Recent research suggests domestic violence clients desire increased attention to their economic needs from local service providers (Bonica, 2000; Postmus, et al. , 2009; Von. De. Linde, 2002) • Concerns include: healthcare, childcare, impact of batterers’ behaviors (lack of job skills, or poor credit history), employment, child support, housing, utilities, and transportation (Von. De. Linde, 2002) Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Changing what the world knows about financial literacy and domestic violence • Financial literacy Changing what the world knows about financial literacy and domestic violence • Financial literacy is receiving significant attention from policy-makers, government officials, and educators • The Allstate Foundation and Rutgers are leading the development of research on financial literacy – For any population – Specifically for survivors of domestic violence • Partnership also providing evidence that the curriculum is making changes to: – Domestic violence survivors’ lives – How the domestic violence field addresses economic empowerment for their clients and themselves Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Key Terms in Financial Literacy • Financial literacy is “the ability to read, analyze, Key Terms in Financial Literacy • Financial literacy is “the ability to read, analyze, manage, and communicate about the personal financial conditions that affect material well-being. It includes the ability to discern financial choices, discuss money and financial issues without (or despite) discomfort, plan for the future, and respond competently to life events that affect everyday financial decisions” (Vitt, et al. , 2000) • Economic self-sufficiency is the manifestation of a wide range of behaviors related to financial management (Gowdy & Pearlmutter, 1993) • Economic self-efficacy is the belief that one has the resources, options, & confidence to complete financial tasks (Weaver, Sanders, Campbell, & Schnabel, 2009) Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Economic Empowerment • Empowerment is defined as the process of gaining power & control Economic Empowerment • Empowerment is defined as the process of gaining power & control over one’s own life (Kasturirangan, 2008) – Including one’s personal financial life • Economic empowerment includes the knowledge, skills, & confidence needed to address one’s own financial wellbeing Economic selfefficacy Economic Financial self. Literacy sufficiency Economic Empowerment Center on Violence Against Women and Children

The Allstate Foundation Financial Empowerment Curriculum • The Moving Ahead curriculum includes: – Strategies The Allstate Foundation Financial Empowerment Curriculum • The Moving Ahead curriculum includes: – Strategies for addressing complex financial and safety challenges of ending an abusive relationship – Tools to help people of all incomes and earning power work toward long-term financial empowerment, including budgeting tools and step-by-step planners – Resources to help understand credit repair – Tactics for accessing local, state and national personal safety and financial resources – Methods for dealing with the misuse of financial records – Resources for working through the challenges of identity change Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Exploratory Research: First of its kind • 15 domestic violence agencies and shelter programs Exploratory Research: First of its kind • 15 domestic violence agencies and shelter programs in 10 states • Individuals at each site were invited to participate in the evaluation if they – a) Were 18 years or older, and – b) Had attended at least one individual or group session during which the economic empowerment curriculum information had been shared States West Virginia South Dakota Ohio Wisconsin Wyoming Kentucky Florida Missouri New York Iowa Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Research Questions • What is the prevalence of economic abuse? • What is the Research Questions • What is the prevalence of economic abuse? • What is the participant’s level of financial literacy? • Are there significant differences in financial literacy based on demographics? • Does financial literacy impact economic empowerment when controlling for abuse variables, demographic factors, economic self-efficacy, and economic self-sufficiency? • What skills and behaviors did the participants obtain after being introduced to the curriculum? • Were there significant changes over time? Center on Violence Against Women and Children

What did we ask? • From survivors: Abuse experiences (economic, psychological, and physical) Economic What did we ask? • From survivors: Abuse experiences (economic, psychological, and physical) Economic literacy (developed from the curriculum) Economic empowerment Economic self-sufficiency and economic self-efficacy Quality of Life Mental health (i. e. depression and PTSD) Basic demographics (e. g. gender, age, ethnicity, education, length of services received) – Financial skills learned & used – Use & helpfulness of the economic empowerment curriculum – – – – • From advocates/coalitions: – Qualitative questions RE: implementation and delivery of the curriculum (e. g. , How did the implementation of the curriculum differ between individual and group settings? How did you determine which workbooks to use with each client? ) Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Variables & Measures • Independent – Financial Literacy • Controls – Abuse: • Economic Variables & Measures • Independent – Financial Literacy • Controls – Abuse: • Economic abuse • Physical abuse • Psychological abuse – Demographics: • • • Age Education Ethnicity Length of Services Income – Economic self-sufficiency – Economic self-efficacy • Financial literacy scale created by researchers; based on curriculum • Scale of Economic Abuse (SEA) • Abusive Behavior Inventory (ABI) • Family Empowerment Scale; revised by researchers • WEN Economic Self-Sufficiency Survey • Domestic Violence Financial Issues Scale (economic selfefficacy subscale) • Basic demographics Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Demographics • Age (average = 39) – – – 18 -30 31 -40 41 Demographics • Age (average = 39) – – – 18 -30 31 -40 41 -50 51 -60 60+ 33% 20% 34% 8% 5% • Race / Ethnicity – – Caucasian 55% African-American 20% Latina or Hispanic 18% Other 8% • Education – Grade school 3% – Some High School 18% – Graduated High School 32% – Some College 39% – College 9% • 17% were in school Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Demographics – cont. • Length of Services – Range 1 -192 months – Average Demographics – cont. • Length of Services – Range 1 -192 months – Average 21 months – Mode 0 -6 months • Average Annual Income – – – 0 - 10, 000 - 49% 10, 001 – 15, 000 – 12% 15, 001 – 25, 000 – 26% 25, 001 – 35, 000 – 9% More than 35, 000 – 4% 52% said it was either very difficult or extremely difficult to live on their income Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Prevalence of Economic Abuse • Exploitation strategies: – 71% had partner pay bills late Prevalence of Economic Abuse • Exploitation strategies: – 71% had partner pay bills late or not at all – 69% had partner spend money needed for rent or other bills • Controlling strategies: – 88% had partners who demanded to know how the money was spent – 83% had partners making important financial decisions without talking to tem first • Employment sabotage strategies: – 68% had partners do things to keep them from going to work – 59% had partners demanding that they quit their job Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Financial Literacy • Participants were asked to rank their level of understanding for 51 Financial Literacy • Participants were asked to rank their level of understanding for 51 items • 4 -point Likert scale with answers ranging from not true to very true • Conducted exploratory factor analysis using principal axis factoring • Reduced 51 items to 13 • Items organized into 4 factors: – – Knowledge about Credit (4) Obtaining Resources (3) Investing & Long Term Planning (4) Joint Assets with Partner (2) Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Financial Literacy Questions scale of 1 -4 from not true (1) to very true Financial Literacy Questions scale of 1 -4 from not true (1) to very true (4) Item Knowledge about Credit How to review my credit history How to review and understand my credit report and credit history How to improve my credit rating What to expect if I try to get a loan Overall Mean = 2. 92 (SD=. 82) Knowledge about Obtaining Resources What community resources and public assistance benefits are available The resources that are available in my community to assist me with the financial challenges I might encounter if I decide to leave my abuser How to get financial and legal assistance through local resources Overall Mean = 3. 11 (SD=. 77) Knowledge about Investing and Long Term Planning for retirement and the different types of plans available Mean SD 3. 23 2. 90 2. 79 2. 78 . 92. 99 1. 0. 97 3. 20 . 90 3. 14 . 86 3. 02 . 94 2. 16 . 97 How to invest my savings through things like savings bonds, mutual funds, and stocks 2. 15 1. 0 Estate planning Community programs such as IDAs and EITCs Overall Mean = 2. 00 (SD=. 69) Knowledge about Joint Assets with Partner How to identify joint or combined financial responsibilities and assets How to identify my partner’s assets and financial responsibilities Overall Mean = 2. 70 (SD=. 95) 2. 04 1. 90 1. 0. 96 2. 77 2. 56 . 99 1. 0 Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Correlations 1 1 - Financial literacy 2 - Economic empowerment 3 - Economic self-efficacy Correlations 1 1 - Financial literacy 2 - Economic empowerment 3 - Economic self-efficacy 2 3 4 5 . 550**. 318** . 516** . 222* . 407** . 519** -. 090 . 069 . 003 -. 194 -. 033 . 094 . 046 -. 123 4 - Economic self-sufficiency 5 – Domestic violence 6 - Economic abuse **. significant at the 0. 01 level; * significant at the 0. 05 level (2 -tailed); Center on Violence Against Women and Children . 775**

Interpretation of Correlations • Results reveal positive and significant relationships between financial literacy and: Interpretation of Correlations • Results reveal positive and significant relationships between financial literacy and: – Economic empowerment – Economic self-efficacy – Economic self-sufficiency variables • There were no significant relationships between financial literacy and any of the abuse variables. – Lack of significance could have occurred because of the exploratory nature of the research design – Further research is needed to clarify if such relationships do exist • These significant relationships further our understanding of these terms and how they relate to each other. Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Regression Financial Literacy Domestic Violence Economic Abuse Length of Service (ref. = more than Regression Financial Literacy Domestic Violence Economic Abuse Length of Service (ref. = more than 24 months) Less than 6 months Between 6 – 24 months Age (ref. = less than 30 years) 31 -40 years 41 -50 years 51 + Education (ref. = high school diploma) Less than high school diploma Some college / college grad Income (ref. = Less than $10, 000) $10, 001 -$15, 000 $15, 001 -$25, 000 $25, 001 and higher Race (ref. = white) African American Latina Other Economic self-sufficiency Economic self-efficacy NOTE: R 2 =. 6432; Adj-R 2 =. 544 Unstandardized B. 50. 08 SE Standardized . 10. 09 . 46**. 11. 12 -. 08 -. 11 -. 05 -. 10 -. 06. 14. 12. 15. 14. 19 -. 06 -. 07 -. 03 -. 06 -. 05. 07 . 12. 19 . 17. 13 . 08. 15 -. 19 -. 07 -. 18 . 19. 13. 18 -. 09 -. 05 -. 10 . 32. 31. 62. 14. 10 . 18. 15. 21. 07. 05 . 18. 19**. 26**. 21*. 20 *p ≤. 05, ** p ≤. 01. Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Interpretation of Regression • • Regression analysis was used to determine whether financial literacy Interpretation of Regression • • Regression analysis was used to determine whether financial literacy would predict participants’ level of economic empowerment, controlling for demographics (age, race, education, length of service and income), economic selfsufficiency, economic self-efficacy, and abuse (i. e. economic abuse and domestic violence). Results indicated that… – financial literacy – race (identifying as Latina or other, and – economic self-sufficiency • • were significant predictors of economic empowerment (R 2 = 54%) Supports the critical role of financial literacy education in assisting survivors to gain the knowledge, confidence, & skills over their own financial well-being…all critical components to empower survivors. Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Results from the exploratory research • Asked participants on whether they had completed specific Results from the exploratory research • Asked participants on whether they had completed specific financial tasks since the curriculum – 88% identified signs of financial abuse in current or past relationships – 88% set financial goals – 76% created a budget – 71% began paying off their debt – 65% opened a bank account – 64% looked up their credit history – 52% developed a financial safety plan – 22% started a retirement account Center on Violence Against Women and Children

How did the Curriculum do? • How often? – 56% referred to the curriculum How did the Curriculum do? • How often? – 56% referred to the curriculum when they had questions • How helpful? – 92% found the information helpful – 96% found the information useful – 91% found it beneficial for financial needs • Tell anyone? – 74% shared information with other individuals • 22% shared budgeting • 13% talked about saving money or credit • 11% shared the entire curriculum Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Limitations • Challenges with sample – Selection of sample limits generalizability only to this Limitations • Challenges with sample – Selection of sample limits generalizability only to this sample – Size is small • No control group or randomization • Some results only based on first round; more testing is needed • Mix of standardized scales with relatively new or recently revised instruments Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Next step: First-ever Experimental Study • Experimental study that randomly assigns survivors to control Next step: First-ever Experimental Study • Experimental study that randomly assigns survivors to control or experimental group – 4 areas of the country (NE, MW, Texas, & Puerto Rico) – 7 states & Puerto Rico; 14 agencies – Recruiting 600 women (300 in each group) • Ability to incorporate lessons learned about data collection and survey instrument from the exploratory study • Interviewing survivors 4 times over 14 month period • Require minimum standards in survivor use of curriculum to ensure consistency across topics Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Conceptual Framework using Theory of Planned Behavior The Allstate Foundation curriculum Abuse Financial knowledge Conceptual Framework using Theory of Planned Behavior The Allstate Foundation curriculum Abuse Financial knowledge Financial wellbeing Financial attitudes • Economic empowerment • Financial strain • Subjective satisfaction Demographic factors Economic selfefficacy Family of Origin Financial Practices Financial behavioral intentions Financial behaviors Emotional wellbeing Economic selfsufficiency Current financial norms Center on Violence Against Women and Children • Qual. of Life • Depression • Anxiety • PTSD

Experimental Study Process Recruit participants Researchers conduct first interview Participants randomly assigned Advocates implement Experimental Study Process Recruit participants Researchers conduct first interview Participants randomly assigned Advocates implement curriculum Researchers conduct 2 nd interview Researchers conduct interviews every 6 months Researchers maintain monthly contact with survivors in safe manner Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Discussion & Implications • Financial literacy and economic empowerment programs are effective in helping Discussion & Implications • Financial literacy and economic empowerment programs are effective in helping survivors: – Improve financial knowledge – Increase confidence about managing finances – Enhancing financial behaviors • Continued exploration into use of financial literacy as intervention with survivors. – How to best deliver? – Unique challenges faced by racial, ethnic, & immigrant populations Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Conclusion • Creating an innovative program AND partnering with others strengthens: – – Domestic Conclusion • Creating an innovative program AND partnering with others strengthens: – – Domestic violence survivors Domestic violence services Decisions of key policy makers Others researchers studying financial literacy • Such a partnership brings greater attention to: – Understanding economic abuse – Strategies on how to economically empower survivors • Commitment of The Allstate Foundation to fund research sets the standard for other corporate foundations to emulate – Encourages greater need to develop evidence-based services Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Selected Bibliography • • • Adams, A. E. , Sullivan, C. M. , Bybee, Selected Bibliography • • • Adams, A. E. , Sullivan, C. M. , Bybee, D. , & Greeson, M. R. (2008). Development of the Scale of Economic Abuse. Violence Against Women, 14(5), 563 -588. Anthes, W. L. , & Most, B. W. (2000). Frozen in the headlights: The dynamics of women and money. Journal of Financial Planning, 13(9), 10. Braunstein, S. , & Welch, C. (2002). Financial Literacy: An Overview of Practice, Research, and Policy. Federal Reserve Bulletin, 88(11), 445. Farmer, A. , & Tiefenthaler, J. (2003). Explaining the recent decline in domestic violence. Contemporary Economic Policy, 21(2), 158. Fawole, O. I. (2008). Economic Violence To Women and Girls: Is It Receiving the Necessary Attention? Trauma Violence Abuse, 9(3), 167 -177. GAO (2004). Highlights of a GAO forum: The Federal Government's Role in Improving Financial Literacy (Report). Washington, DC: United States Government Accounting Office. Gowdy, E. A. , & Pearlmutter, S. (1993). Economic self-sufficiency: It's not just money. Affilia, 8(4), 368 -387. Hilgert, M. A. , Hogarth, J. M. , & Beverly, S. G. (2003). Household Financial Management: The Connection between Knowledge and Behavior. Federal Reserve Bulletin, 89(7), 7. Hogarth, J. M. , & Hilgert, M. A. (2002). Financial knowledge, experience and learning preferences: Preliminary results from a new survey on financial literacy. Consumer Interest Annual, 48, 1 -7. Center on Violence Against Women and Children

 • • Hopley, V. (2003). Financial education: what is it and what makes • • Hopley, V. (2003). Financial education: what is it and what makes it so important? Cleveland, OH: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Itzhaky, H. , & Porat, A. B. (2005). Battered women in shelters: Internal resources, well-being, and integration. Affilia, 20(1), 39 -51. Johnson, E. , & Sherraden, M. S. (2007). From Financial Literacy to Financial Capability among Youth. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 34(3), 119 -146. Perry, V. G. , & Morris, M. D. (2005). Who is in control? The role of self-perception, knowledge, and income in explaining consumer financial behavior. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 39(2), 299 -313. Sanders, C. K. , & Schnabel, M. (2006). Organizing for economic empowerment of battered women: Women's savings accounts. Journal of Community Practice, 14(3), 47 -68. Von. De. Linde, K. C. , & Correia, Amy. (2005). Economic education programs for battered women: Lessons learned from two settings. Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence retrieved from www. vawnet. org, 18, 1 -25. Vyas, S. W. , C. (2008). How does economic empowerment affect women's risk of intimate partner violence in low and middle income countries? A systematic review of published evidence. Journal of International Development, 21(5), 25. Weaver, T. L. , Sanders, C. K. , Campbell, C. L. , & Schnabel, C. (2009). Development and preliminary psychometric evaluation of the Domestic Violence-Related Financial Issues Scale (DV-FI). Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(4). Center on Violence Against Women and Children

Contact Information Center on Violence Against Women & Children Rutgers, School of Social Work Contact Information Center on Violence Against Women & Children Rutgers, School of Social Work 536 George Street * New Brunswick, NJ 08901 732 -932 -7520 x 163 * http: //vawc. rutgers. edu Judy L. Postmus, Ph. D. , ACSW [email protected] rutgers. edu Center on Violence Against Women and Children