Economic abuse is an extremely common, yet often overlooked aspect of domestic violence. Economic abuse can affect every aspect of a survivor’s life, often limiting their ability to obtain an education and maintain employment.1 Although the federal government has passed several laws addressing domestic violence, these laws have only recently begun to address economic abuse and are mainly meant to provide civil support for survivors. Similarly, many states do not yet have criminal laws addressing the problem of economic abuse in the domestic violence context. Even with increased recognition at the federal level, there is still much that must be done to ensure that survivors of economic abuse receive the support they need and are able to hold their abusers accountable. Given that current legislation (at least on the federal level) provides civil support to survivors of both physical and economic forms of domestic violence, this Note focuses on criminal solutions and recommends that federal and state actors implement laws criminalizing economic abuse in the domestic violence context.
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