Financial Capability Financial Inclusion Working Paper

Organizing for Economic Empowerment of Battered Women: Women’s Savings Accounts

When describing reasons for remaining with or returning to an abusive partner, many women mention economic dependence on their abuser. Few battered women, especially those who are poor,have the economic resources necessary to live independently. Additionally, battered women are commonly isolated from financial resources lacking ready access to cash, checking accounts, or charge accounts. Creating strategies that address financial well-being is essential to addressing the issue of domestic violence. This article discusses a collaboration among domestic violence service providers in the St. Louis, Missouri region created to promote the economic development of low-income battered women. The collaboration has culminated in formalized economic service provisions including economic education and credit counseling; women’s matched savings accounts; and economic advocacy and support services.

Project: Redevelopment Opportunities for Women Economic Action Program (REAP)


Sanders, C. K., & Schnabel, M. (2004). Organizing for economic empowerment of battered women: Women’s Savings Accounts (CSD Working Paper No. 04-15). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.