Economic Empowerment Strategies for Women

This curriculum is designed to support women assessing and redressing the impact of economic abuse.


The ability to make informed financial decisions is essential for basic functioning in Canadian society. Economic Empowerment Strategies for Women curriculum is designed to help women survivors of abuse who might be struggling to eat, find a safe place to live, hold a job, achieve academic goals, support children, seek shelter from violence and abuse, rebuild a life after an identity change, protect assets or overcome identity theft.


Financial insecurity and economic abuse puts many women in the position of choosing between staying with an abusive partner or facing poverty.

Once women leave an abusive partner, they face multiple economic barriers to maintaining their independence and meeting basic needs for themselves and their children. Economic security exists on a continuum and is fluid. Based on individual circumstances, women can move toward greater economic and personal autonomy over time. It is possible for women survivors of abuse to become increasingly secure economically as each small financial success occurs.


Women survivors deserve access to safe housing, jobs and economic resources for their families, whether they decide to leave abusive relationships or remain in them.

Every strategy within this curriculum is provided to help survivors navigate the complex challenges they will encounter. Every story reflects a real voice of a women survivor who generously shared her story with us. It is through exploring women’s real experiences that possible choices are provided and community resources for building an economically independent life are identified throughout this curriculum.

Economic Empowerment Strategies for Women curriculum presents a strong anti-oppression, women-centred model. Anti-oppression lens provides theories and action strategies that challenge socially and historically built inequalities that are ingrained in our systems and institutions, and allow certain group dominate others. Adopting a women-centred approach means placing women at the centre and recognizing that violence against women is about patriarchal power and control, and discriminations such as racism and classism.

The curriculum also provides concrete strategies and tips that will help women better manage their day-to day finances while building towards a stronger financial foundation for their future.

Also, it is crucial to note that the use of gender-specific pronouns in this resource is not meant to discount the experiences of queer women.


The curriculum was developed to help provide:

  • Strategies to address the safety challenges of ending an abusive relationship
  • Resources for working through the economic challenges after ending an abusive relationship
  • Strategies to work through challenges after an identity or name change and an abuser’s misuse of the survivor’s personal records
  • Tactics to understand financial basics, establishing and Building Financial Foundations


Overview of Curriculum

The Economic Empowerment Strategies for Women curriculum offers a range of information from fundamentals of money and financial management principles to financial planning. It is divided into five separate modules.

Module One:

Understanding Financial Abuse & Safety Planning

Module Two:

Responding to Financial Abuse: Learning Financial Fundamentals

Module Three:

Responding to Financial Abuse: Budgeting, Saving Investment and Education

Module Four:

Building Financial Foundation: Homes, Loans and Automobiles


Glossary of Violence against Women and Financial Terms


Financial tools, information, and government resources

How Battered Women’s Support Services Takes Action

Download the What is Economic Abuse? PDF resource.

Get Started > Module One: Understanding Financial Abuse & Safety Planning

BWSS’ Economic Empowerment Strategies for Women is funded by: