Identifying and Supporting Financially Vulnerable Women Experiencing Economic Abuse: A Grounded Theory Approach


This study extends the literature by exploring the role of pro bono tax clinics within the social impact ecosystem with a focus on the experiences of women in financial distress who are otherwise unable to access professional tax advice. Using clinic data derived from a pro bono tax advisory clinic, this article finds that 58 per cent of financially vulnerable women seeking pro bono tax services have experienced domestic and family violence (DFV), confirming again the link between financial stress and economic abuse. Yet only 3 per cent of these women were receiving domestic and family violence-related support, highlighting the hidden nature of economic abuse within DFV and underscoring the potential for financial services to document the tactics and effects of economic abuse.

Overall, the findings suggest that the relationship between tax problems, financial stress and economic abuse merits further exploration, so that large-scale initiatives can be designed to support women experiencing economic abuse as part of DFV. Further, this article establishes the important role of tax clinics, as a site of research and knowledge and also of support, intervention, engagement and assistance for victim-survivors of DFV.




tax, tax clinics, domestic and family violence (DFV), coercive control, economic abuse, financial abuse, structural justice, reduce inequalities


Law | Tax Law