Economic Abuse and Legal Remedies in India: A Qualitative Review

22 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2023

Date Written: January 20, 2023


The terms economic abuse, financial abuse, and economic violence are being used in the literature to largely identify situations where men economically control women using tactics such as exploitation, sabotage, manipulation, and entanglement in an intimate partner relationship. Several countries have responded to this violence by developing legal and policy measures to support the survivors. In India, the Protection of Domestic Violence Against Women Act (PWDVA) defines economic violence broadly as denial, deprivation, and control of everyday resources and necessities, including disposal of assets in which an aggrieved woman may have an interest, besides prohibition and restriction of continued access to resources and facilities that she is entitled to enjoy in a domestic relationship. Monetary reliefs including maintenance, and compensation, are perceived as redressal measures by the lawmakers. While referring to legal case studies and secondary data, this work critically explores the gaps in the way economic violence is happening, how it is defined legally, and the gaps in the response of the state. It concludes that the law ignores many forms of economic abuse women face and has failed to keep pace with technological and socio-economic development. It suggests that the term “economic violence” needs to be broadly interpreted and the remedies need to be reconsidered to be consistent with India’s constitutional and international human rights obligations.

Keywords: Economic Violence, legal remedies, monetary relief, PWDVA, aggrieved woman, maintenance, division of matrimonial property, divorce, separation, unpaid work

Suggested Citation

Nigam, Shalu, Economic Abuse and Legal Remedies in India: A Qualitative Review (January 20, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Shalu Nigam (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

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