Women in pandemic-induced financial stress are not the cause of abuse. Financial stress is not the cause of domestic abuse. Scantily clad women hiding in darkened corridors are not the problem. 

Men who choose to be violent are the cause and the problem of domestic abuse. 

The article, however, is a well written and informative piece about new research from ANROWS. They surveyed 10,000 women about how the pandemic and associated financial stress is affecting violent partners.

Women experienced greater economic insecurity than men because of Covid. When that happened, their male partners were more likely to be violent.

Conversely, men who did lose jobs or money were also more likely to start or escalate violence against women who were economically security. 

In other words, men who have economic power use it as a tool to abuse women. Men who lack economic power use it as an excuse to abuse women.

As always, First Nations women, women with disabilities, and women with children are at greatest risk of violence from male partners. 

All of this points to the complex interactions of power, fear, shame, and vulnerability in domestic abuse. 

The authors of the report are very clear that the data does NOT say financial stress causes domestic abuse. There is a connection, but that doesn’t mean it’s causal. It makes sense that men who are under any kind of stress are get angrier and more frustrated. Emotions are often outside our control. It does not make sense that they choose to hurt or rape their partners because violence is a choice that is within our control.

The research shows we must do more to help economically vulnerable women to escape violent men. It also proves this is not the only thing we need to do to end men’s violence against women. We need widespread primary prevention to teach men and boys that money is not an excuse or a tool for abuse. We need targeted, long-term services to help men feel frustration or fear and not turn it into violence. We need to do so much more than we are doing to prevent violence before it starts and support victims after it’s begun. 

We just need to do more. 

Links to the report and other sources are in the OP on my Patreon patreon.com/JaneGilmore

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

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