Financial abuse occurs when someone is in a relationship and the other person has power over them because they don’t have access to money, information or a way out.
It can include: control of how the money is spent, restricting access to money, stopping the victim from earning money, stealing a partner's identity, money, credit or property.
The Allstate Foundation’s Domestic Violence Program (formerly Purple Purse) that helps victims of domestic violence through financial empowerment calls financial abuse “the Invisible weapon”. Why? According to the Purple Purse:
“Physical abuse leaves bruises and scars. Financial abuse is an Invisible Weapon that traps victims in abusive relationships. The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay or return to an abusive relationship is that they don’t have the financial resources to break free. In 99% of domestic violence cases, financial abuse helps keep victims trapped in the abusive relationship”.
Women in financial abuse situations are trapped – financially, physically and emotionally.
Financially they are isolated and prevented from access to financial resources – bank accounts, credit cards, transportation.
Physically -they are stuck in a house or apartment and they don't have the resources to move or leave.
Emotionally they lack the confidence and belief that they are capable to make it without their abuser.
What Steps Can I take towards Financial Freedom?
Get informed about Financial Literacy –There are many free resources online and offered by your local financial institutions and non-profits to help you learn about, establish and maintain healthy money habits.
I always tell my clients – you don’t have to be an expert, but you do need to be informed
Get and Give Support
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233
Share Your Story - you never know who you might touch, inspire and help to break free.