As we turn our calendars to a new year, at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), we renew our efforts to advance solutions that put an end to violence against women.
This January marks the 15th observance of National Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking is a serious crime that affects nearly one in six women and more than one in 19 men in the United States in their lifetime. Through surveillance and monitoring of bank accounts, property invasion or damage, unwanted phone calls, and other unwanted contact at home or at work, stalkers – often former intimate partners – can cause survivors to lose their jobs due to interference and sabotage or have their financial resources depleted due to identity theft or efforts to secure their safety.
January is also recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While hidden, research suggests that human and sex trafficking in particular is widespread and increasing in the United States. Traffickers often target individuals who have previous experiences of psychological trauma, histories of family violence or child sex abuse, drug dependency, homelessness, and social isolation. Individuals with limited economic resources—minors and individuals with limited educational opportunities, work opportunities, or family support—are also at a heightened risk of trafficking. Victims experience the effects of trafficking throughout their lives, due to costs of treating the physical and mental health consequences of victimization, diminished employment opportunity due to a lack of legal work histories, and the arrest and conviction of victims who are forced into illegal sex work, despite laws protecting survivors.
Source: National Human Trafficking Hotline Data, 2016
In both, economic insecurity is used by abusers to manipulate and entrap victims. Failure to recognize and respond to the intersection of economic factors and violence against women often leaves survivors without the resources necessary to escape and recover from abuse. IWPR’s Economic Security for Survivors (ESS) project seeks to build, protect, and restore the economic security of victims and survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence and stalking, so that they may be safe and free of abuse. Through research, technical assistance, and training the ESS project raises awareness of the economic factors that compound the effects of violence against women and impede the safety and future health and security of survivors.
With your generous support, IWPR can continue to provide this important information to service providers, criminal justice agencies, and lawmakers to improve how policies and practices empower women and support survivors’ economic security. Please consider making a donation to IWPR to support this important work.
Contributions to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research are fully tax-deductible.
Read some of our latest research by visiting www.iwpr.org or clicking the links below to learn more about the intersection of economic abuse with stalking and sex trafficking:
- Intersections of Stalking and Economic Security
- The Economic Drivers and Consequences of Sex Trafficking in the United States
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences.