Open Access

Economic Abuse and Criminal Responsibility: Lithuanian Case Law on Domestic Violence


Though economic abuse is under researched in Lithuania it is not less widespread nor less serious as physical or sexual violence. The objective of this article is to determine the scope of prosecuting economic abuse in context of domestic violence. Desk research methodology based on case study is used: qualitative content research of Lithuanian case law. The findings of the research suggest that prosecution of economic abuse as a specific form of domestic violence is rather limited in Lithuania: i.e., criminalization is only partial; law enforcement faces difficulties in recognizing and evidencing it; the case law is not adequate (e. g., prosecution mostly focuses on physical violence, it is incident-based, ignores the specifics of domestic violence and economic abuse is commonly interpreted as context of systemic violence but not an independent basis for prosecution). Accordingly, there is a need to enhance criminal law response to economic abuse and explore for the optimal alternative to ensure this in Lithuania.