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A Survivor-Centered Policy Platform & Recommendations for Gender Based Violence Survivors

Reinvesting In Economic Justice, Equity, And Solidarity For Survivors of Gender Based Violence

94-99% of intimate partner violence survivors experience economic abuse. In March 2021, Safe Horizon joined a group of advocates & attorneys from gender-based violence advocacy & legal services programs to uplift a survivor-centered vision for economic equity. In this blog post, we explain:

What is Gender Based Violence?

Gender-based violence refers to a wide variety of acts that can be directed at a person because of their gender or gender expression. Gender Based Violence can include sexual, physical, mental and economic harm inflicted in public or in private. It also includes threats of violence, coercion, and manipulation.

The term Gender Based Violence is inclusive of or may be used interchangeably with “domestic violence/abuse” or “intimate partner violence” and “hate violence.” Gender-based violence offers a more expansive sense of gender, sexuality, and other identities of both the survivor and the abusive partner or person who causes harm.

How can Survivors of Gender Based Violence find Safety?

For survivors of gender-based violence, safety requires economic security. The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed simultaneous health and economic crises. The media coverage and severity of gendered, economic, and racial inequities over the last few years have increased public awareness around these issues. For survivors and advocates who navigate social and economic barriers to safety, these inequities are not news but rather lived realities.

Acknowledging and understanding that economic abuse exists at a far higher-than-average percentage amongst domestic violence/gender-based violence survivors. Building off this knowledge, it is important to focus on righting past wrongs as it relates to ID theft, fraud and coerced debt. This is a long process and can take years to rectify. The next step is putting in place protections against any further economic abuse. Only then can a survivor work towards economic security.

What is Reinvesting in Economic Justice, Equity, and Solidarity for Survivors in New York City?

In March 2021, a group of advocates and attorneys from gender-based violence advocacy and legal services programs across New York City came together to create a survivor-centered vision for economic equity with specific recommendations on key issues related to economic independence and stability. To do this, this group held a series of six visioning calls with 24 survivors and 61 advocates, attorneys, and other direct service providers representing 27 New York City organizations, then examined and compiled data and evidence. This  concluded with four issue briefs: coerced debt, housing, public benefits and solidarity economies.

What are the key findings of this groups study?

  1. Advance equitable responses and resources for gender-based violence survivors.
  2. Place survivor equity and solidarity at the center of City and State economic development.
  3. Dismantle deeply ingrained racist systems and practices in our institutions and invest in new ideas.
  4. Engage survivors in government policy and planning.

 What Does this Report Accomplish?

In this report, the group shares the vision and specific recommendations from the calls and the report aims to:

  • Articulate and strengthen a gender justice and anti-racist framework for economic justice that individual advocates, organizations, and allied initiatives can use to inform their own work and systems advocacy.
  • Provide a toolbox and a jumping-off point for partnership building and organizing.
  • Fuel awareness, action, and accountability of and for elected officials, commissioners, City services, and Mayor Adams.
  • Offer opportunities for collaboration between survivors, advocates, and policymakers in New York City.

Download the report here 

Safe Horizon is proud to participate in the creation of this report with many partner organizations, advocates, and survivors.  Together, we are committed to ensuring safety for survivors of gender-based violence and a new vision for economic equity in New York City and beyond. For more info about Safe Horizon visit the About Us  page on our website.  Learn about our programs for survivors.


  • Blair Dorosh-Walther

    Manager of Economic Empowerment for Safe Horizon Shelters

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