University of Miami Inter-American Law Review


The matter of gender violence, including intimate partner violence (IPV), has long been categorized as a particularly egregious crime. The consequences of IPV are profound and affect all members of the household, family members near and far, and the communities where they live. Gender violence impacts the national economy. Costs accrue to workplaces, health care institutions, and encumber local and state coffers. Survivors are deprived of income, property, and economic stability: conditions that often endure beyond periods of physical injuries. Offenders also experience economic hardship as a result of involvement with the legal system. They often face significant obstacles when seeking housing and employment and encounter other economic difficulties due to their legal status. These circumstances interfere with the tasks of mitigating gender violence.

Economic difficulties are not only after–the–fact–occurrences. Decades of research demonstrate causal relationships between poverty, economic strain, and inequality, on the one hand, and survivor status, on the other. Moreover, studies confirm that economic instability contributes to the very factors that often culminate in offenders’ transgressions. Notwithstanding the IPV discourse that recognizes the entanglement between structural economic conditions and consequences to families and communities, too little economic support either on the front end or the back has been allocated to address these issues.

This essay will address the various economic factors related to survivors and offenders. It critically assesses the ways in which the responses to IPV insufficiently acknowledge economic concerns as a function of a neoliberal economic system that fails to support meaningful social change It offers a brief comparative review of circumstances in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico following the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement and a hyped–up period of economic liberalization and free trade with a model to address gender violence developed in Cuba after the period of Cuba’s post 1959 revolution through the first decade of the twenty–first century based on a political economy built upon principles of social justice and gender equality. These disparate economic circumstances illustrate the ways in which political economies contribute to or mitigate gender violence.