Can financial service providers help reduce intimate partner violence?

Posted on 03/03/2021

This blog post excerpts an article from FinDev Gateway.

35 percent of women globally experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, according to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates. Most of this violence is not perpetrated by a stranger, but by an intimate partner. While levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) vary by region, it occurs everywhere. Less than 40 percent of women who experience violence will seek any sort of help or support, and those who do turn mostly to family and friends without reporting it to authorities. Violence against women not only threatens lives, but also perpetuates female subordination. The negative impacts trickle down from the woman and her family to a country’s human, social and economic development.

What can we do as financial services actors to help move us towards a world where women do not face violence, are valued and can thrive on opportunity?

Our literature review, conducted in partnership with Brigham Young University Masters of Public Health student researchers, found that combining microfinance services with social empowerment interventions has been effective, and that measures to reduce the financial stress associated with taking on debt could also help.

Learn more about our research on FinDev Gateway.

Explore other research and publications related to gender-based violence and women's empowerment on our Resources page.

In order to make progress on reducing intimate partner violence, we must first start with ourselves and ensure that [financial service providers] cultivate equality and safety, both inside and out.  
— Bobbi Gray and Amelia Kuklewicz
Empower smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of poverty.
Give Now