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News, State/Region, Top Stories, Video — October 17, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Bad economy – more violence

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Domestic violence is more likely during economic stress.

ST. CLOUD, MN – Studies show a poor economy can trigger domestic violence. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), domestic violence is more than three times as likely to occur when couples are experiencing high levels of financial strain.

“One of the very common ways an abuser will trap a woman in an abusive relationship has to do with economics,” said Beth Berila, director of Women’s Studies.

Economic abuse is when the abuser of the relationship controls all of the finances. What is the likelihood that economic abuse will lead to violence?

“In families where someone is already being abusive the added stress of financial problems can increase the level or number of times violence occurs,” said Lee Ladue, director of the Gender Violence Resource Center. “It’s all part of the power and control wheel – something we use to explain domestic violence.”

Domestic violence can be explained through the power-control wheel but it is not a cause-effect cycle. The bad economy does not cause domestic abuse but it can intensify it.

This might be your first time hearing about economic abuse, but according to the NNEDV it is very common and is increasing in the midwest.

Jecque French, the development director of Anna Marie’s Alliance in downtown St. Cloud, says women are staying at the shelter longer because of the poor economy.

According to the NNEDV two-thirds of people know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.

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