This paper aims to investigate how economic abuse manifests in young adult relationships from the perspective of practice experts to inform the role of social marketing in economic abuse prevention. Practitioners were asked for their views on prevention strategies at the individual, relationship, community and societal levels.
Twenty-four experts were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Thematic analysis was undertaken.
Experts reported that young adults experienced economic exploitation, adverse economic entanglement and economic control. Young adults’ frame of reference was a challenge for practitioners. Experts believed that more work needed to be done to improve the financial literacy of young adults.
Practitioner views provide one side of the story. A separate study has been established interviewing young adults to explore these issues further.
The authors argue that prevention and intervention strategies need to focus on young adults who are in their critical relationship formation stage. The identified attitudinal factors present a challenge to policy, prevention and service providers.
The authors shift the attention from service engaged women leaving violent relationships to young adults who have not sought assistance from community or domestic violence services. In doing so, they highlight the importance of the relationship formation phase. This paper raises the challenge for social marketers to consider appropriate prevention and intervention programmes for this cohort. Current and future campaigns and programmes need to be designed and evaluated with an economic abuse lens.
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