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His debt in her name: Economic harm in which lenders are complicit

December 2, 2021

EXPLAINER: In New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, Friday is Economic Harm Awareness Day.

It’s the third time the event had been held in Canada, but it’s a first for New Zealand, so the term “economic harm” needs some explaining.

And so does the insidious complicity of the finance and business sector.

Economic abuse is a little-recognised form of family violence, says Nicola Eccleton​, manager for social inclusion at Good Shepherd, and economic harm is the result of that abuse.

Economic abuse has tended to be classed as a form of psychological abuse, and is classified in the Family Violence Act 2018​ under psychological abuse.

A recent study from the University of Auckland suggested it was on the rise, possibly because people who abuse their partners may see it as a low-risk abuse option, as it is seldom prosecuted or recognised.

But economic abuse has its own unique features of harm, which is why Good Shepherd, a charity that exists to support women, including with free and low-cost “good” loans, is calling for it to be made a crime in its own right.

Excerpt from Stuff

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