Cynthia Sanders examines the advancement of economic well-being for women affected by intimate partner violence, including savings programs such as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), which have gained substantial policy support during the past two decades.
While hundreds of IDA programs exist in the US, relatively few exist specifically for survivors of domestic violence. Additionally, policy restrictions on the use of federal matching funds, as well as asset limit tests associated with public welfare programs, present obstacles to advancing savings among low-income survivors of domestic violence. Savings and asset accumulation strategies have potential implications for women’s long-term economic stability and their safety. Domestic violence programs are in an important position to advance IDAs or other saving initiatives for survivors. Safety issues and planning must be key components in any attempt to advance the economic well-being of women affected by IPV.