Economic insecurity and intimate partner violence in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic


There has been a focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic security of women and their partners and its contribution to IPV. Previous research has shown that economic insecurity is significantly associated with the perpetration and persistence of IPV; however the relationship is a complex one.

The current study aimed to address the following research questions:

  1. What is the relationship between risk factors that can change over time, particularly factors related to economic insecurity, and Australian women's experiences of IPV?
  2. Is there any evidence of a relationship between those risk factors that have been influences or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and women's experiences of IPV?
  3. Does the relationship between economic insecurity and IPV differ according to the type of IPV or pattern of violence and abuse (i.e. onset and escalation) experienced?


  • List of tables
  • List of figures
  • Definitions and concepts

Executive summary

  • Method
  • Results
  • Conclusion


  • Economic status
  • Economic hardship
  • Financial stress
  • Changes in financial status
  • Economic disparity or inequality between partners
  • Summary


  • Sampling and weighting
  • Analysis
  • Independent variables
  • Limitations


  • Experiences of economic insecurity among women
  • The relationship between economic insecurity and women's experiences of intimate partner violence
  • The intersection between economic insecurity and IPV among priority populations
  • Changes in financial status and their impact on patterns of violence and abuse experienced by women


  • Key finding 1: Experiences of economic insecurity were common among women living in Australia during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Key finding 2: Economic insecurity was associated with an increased likelihood of IPV among women
  • Key finding 3: Economic disparity within relationships was associated with IPV, even after controlling for economic insecurity
  • Key finding 4: Economic insecurity co-occurred with other vulnerabilities reported by women which were associated with an increased likelihood of IPV
  • Key finding 5: The relationship between economic status, stress and disparity and IPV varied according to the type of IPV and whether it was experienced as a chronic condition or an acute stressor
  • Key finding 6: Consistent with other Australian and international research, there was clear evidence that the acute economic stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with both the onset and escalation of IPV



Appendix A