New Study Shows Relationship between Economic insecurity and Intimate Partner Homicides

New Study Shows Relationship between Economic insecurity and Intimate Partner Homicides

By: Alexandra de Leon Date: July 27th, 2020

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the largest cash transfer programs for low-income working families in the USA.

Researchers at Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center (HIPRC), UW Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology of the University of Washington School of Public Health conducted a new study evaluating the association between state earned income tax credits and intimate partner homicides.

“Intimate partner homicide is the most extreme form of intimate partner violence. The EITC is popular among advocates as a promising means for victims to leave abusive relationships, and many states augment the federal EITC with varying levels of generosity. However, EITC benefits may not effectively reach these victims,” lead researcher Caitlin Moe, M.S., a PhD student in Epidemiology says. “We identified 3 potential reasons for our null finding: (1) partner’s control of finances, a common feature of abusive relationships; (2) prohibitive eligibility requirements for receiving the EITC, namely that individuals married filing separately are ineligible; and (3) insufficient data quality of IPH reporting.”

This study looked IPH rates in all 50 states from 1990-2016. The national rate of IPH decreased from 1.9 per 100,000 adult women in 1990 to 1.3 per 100,000 in 2016, but showed there was no statistically significant association between state EITC generosity and IPH rates. “We identified 3 potential reasons for our null finding: (1) partner’s control of finances, a common feature of abusive relationships; (2) prohibitive eligibility requirements for receiving the EITC, namely that individuals married filing separately are ineligible; and (3) insufficient data quality of IPH reporting.”

This study is one of the first national studies assessing the impact of EITC policies and IPH. For more on this study and the results click here.

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