Financial Abuse is Domestic Violence

My husband used money for leverage, power, control and triangulation. He tried to use money to regain control over me after he abandoned me & I went no contact. I was terrified when he first left me with no money, food & all the bills past due, but I’ve made it. It hasn’t been easy but God has supplied all of my needs. Healing has been slow but I’m in such a better place spiritually & mentally. I would not be where I’m at today without the kindness of strangers & a Secret Angel to whom I will forever be grateful.

BREAK THE SILENCE AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

By Survivors for Survivors

The Impact of Financial Abuse
Dating a Thief: The Impact of Financial Abuse

By Amy Thomson

One of the most frequently cited reasons survivors give for not leaving an abusive relationship is lack of financial resources. Estimates state that victims experience financial abuse in 98 – 99% of all cases of domestic violence. It is a form of control that restricts the victim from being financially independent through hardship and traps the victim in the abuse because they have no way to survive outside the relationship.

The main reason financial abuse is such an effective form of control is that victims often rely on the abuser for shelter, food, clothing, medical, and child care expenses. It is common for abusers to deny victims the right to work outside the home as a way to exact tighter control over their victims.

Under these circumstances, the victim and children are at the abuser’s mercy as the abuser is the only source of income. The victim has no source of independent income and relies upon the abuser’s medical insurance and salary to cover household expenses and personal needs. Victims are often barred access to lines of credit and bank cards and given an “allowance” by their abuser that is insufficient to cover household expenses.

Even when the victim is allowed to work – or is forced to be the only provider – the abuser still usurps control over household finances. Paper checks are confiscated and the abuser controls access to the victim’s bank cards.

Some of the more obvious impacts of economic abuse make it challenging to be financially self-sufficient in a world that requires stable income and credit ratings for the most basic needs. It can damage the victim’s credit score and make it impossible to qualify for loans, mortgages, and other lines of credit. Evictions lead to difficulty in securing safe, affordable housing. Finding work can be a struggle when the victim does not feel comfortable explaining the gaps in employment.

What may not be so obvious is the potential to increase the level of danger in cases of intimate partner violence. One of the most troubling aspects of economic abuse is the power it has to trap the victim with the abuser. When combined with isolation tactics – either through physical distance or forced alienation from loved ones – the risk increases exponentially.

Entrapment by financial abuse occurs because the victim is financially dependent upon the abuser due to lack of access to family finances making it nearly impossible to leave. When the abuser controls all aspects of the victim’s financial life, the victim has no safety net. Without work, a victim seeking to escape their abuser cannot afford basics like shelter, utilities, food, medical or child care. Knowing they cannot afford these things on their own often leads them to stay with their abuser and keeps them at risk for escalation of abuse, physical injury, or death.

Financial abuse also causes hardships after a victim has left. Costs of living and inability to find sufficient work coupled with damaged credit increases their risk of homelessness and living in poverty. Medical conditions may go untreated as they cannot afford doctors’ appointments or medication. Conditions may deteriorate to the degree where the victim may return to their abuser. When the victim makes this choice, they are at increased risk of retaliation, heightened control, and escalation of physical violence.

Signs of Financial Abuse

Your partner demands that you account for all expenditures and often becomes angered at the smallest discrepancy.
Your partner displays signs of annoyance or jealousy when you spend money on yourself or others – even if the purchases are small amounts.
Your partner expects you to ask them before you spend any money – even if you are not married and do not share joint accounts.
Your partner presses you to leave your job and stay at home under the guise of wanting to take care of you. They may also force you to work in positions that bar you from advancing or be unsupportive of promotions. Conversely, your partner may refuse to work and force you to cover all living expenses.
You have become scared of your partner’s reaction when you spend money and hide purchases.
Your partner assumes control of all finances and forces you ask permission for access to money, lines of credit, or other accounts. You may also have an “allowance” that deliberately falls short of personal expenses or bills.
Your partner forces you to give them your PIN numbers and passwords for all financial accounts.
Your partner accumulates unpaid debts in your name and refuses to pay them off. You also may be asked to cosign for loans in their name or close out your 401K.
Your partner interferes with access to transportation to and from work or acts in such a way that causes you to be fired from your job.
What to Do before Leaving

If you are safely able, keep small amounts of change from purchases hidden in a safe place or open a bank account or credit line in your name with all communication set to electronic.

If you cannot safely hide the above at home, hide money and important financial, personal, and medical information with someone you trust. This includes account numbers on which the abuser may have you listed.

Use the phone or computer of someone you trust to search for information on public assistance and domestic violence organizations.

What to Do after Leaving

To determine the extent of damage caused by the financial abuse, you need to begin the discovery process by pulling credit reports. You can run three free reports a year at AnnualCreditReport.Com. Once you have a clearer picture of the damage, begin contacting creditors. You can also dispute errors or fraudulent activity with the bureaus.

Another resource you can use is your state’s Crime Victims Board. Some allow for the application of financial assistance for urgent basic needs with the provision that you had your abuser arrested and charged.

Some domestic violence organizations like Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence have financial literacy and grant programs. They may also have scholarship programs for survivors and family affected by domestic violence. Others may have holiday adoption programs to help those affected by abuse afford gifts for children.

Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence MISSION:
To educate communities on the dangers of domestic violence, connect victims and survivors, and assist them in the transformation of their lives – by providing a personal development retreat, scholarships, financial empowerment, an advocate-run hotline, and our innovative awareness campaigns.
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Domestic Violence Day 12: Financial or Economic Abuse

Many people aren’t even aware that financial abuse is domestic violence, I didn’t. Financial abuse is all about control. When most people here the horrific phrase domestic violence they think only of the physical abuse or threats of physical abuse inflicted upon another, however, financial or economic abuse exist in approximately 98% of all domestic violence situations.

The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel

financial-abuse-2

For October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am continuing a series on the various abuses. Now, I will proceed with the next abuse:  “Financial Abuse” or “Economic Abuse.”

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Manipulation of the Legal System as an Instrument of Abuse

Financial Abuse prevents survivors for getting justice and is a form of domestic violence..

Anne Caroline Drake

Eagle by Carole May Eagle by Carole May

If you want to make a real difference, become a legal eagle watching over the court system.

We all know that “justice” in the legal system belongs to the affluent and powerful.  But, I think many of you would be shocked to discover how easily the court system can be manipulated as an instrument of abuse.

A rich and powerful man with a well-established professional career can afford to out-litigate a wife who sacrificed her own professional ambitions to care for his home and his children.  A man who never had a second of time for his kids can suddenly discover how easily and effectively a well-funded custody dispute can destroy his estranged wife.  There’s also the refusal to pay child or spousal support.  False allegations of abuse and arrests on false charges can destroy a person’s reputation.  These are just a few of the ways sophisticated, affluent…

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Falling down

I have been quiet for a while. This is why. This is a necessarily long post and I make no apologies for that. It also discusses suicide and self harm. I don’t apologise for that either. These…

Source: Falling down

I generally only blog in October in observance of Domestic Violence month but tonight I would like to share Dissident Girl’s post, its her latest post & a very powerful. She needs some support from our community immediately. Let’s comfort her & show her she’s not alone.
Joyce

Comfort One Another

Domestic Violence Awareness
Comfort from Others
What has helped me to move forward and not lose hope has been comfort from others. I call it Favor from God. Encouragement through a blog, or a kind word in the comments area. Someone you never met in person sends you money to help you buy a small heater. Which I use to warm the one room in the house I spend all my time in. A book comes in the mail to help you understand how to heal your unseen wounds “The Walking Wounded”.
A therapist sees your tweet about the tremendous fear you have from the sound of a door and reaches out and give you the solution to combat that fear.
I’ve met so many women who have simply given up on God. I haven’t given up God because I knows He loves me. I also haven’t given up because of the comfort from others.
Joyce

Starting Over After a Midlife Divorce

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” The author of the book, St. Paul, tells us that we are to be a comfort to others as we ourselves have received comfort from God.

We were not made to walk through this life alone. There is strength in community – whether that community is online, in person, across state and international boundaries or in your own neighborhood. I have a good friend whom I have known for 13 years. She has been with me through thick and thin, tears of sorrow and tears of joy, anger and happiness. We had dinner last evening. I love this friend…

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TINY MINDS…

Domestic Violence Awareness
A Survivor Surviving

Empower your SELF and live

drink-me-alice   Tiny minds, big egos.  Little self-esteem, a lot of expectations of others.  Small thinking, huge communication problems.

It’s a small world but theirs is a big world when you are the one that has to revolve around it.  Because after all, isn’t that what we do?  Revolve around them?  Their wants, their needs, their happiness until one day we decide we need to expand our horizons from their tiny cubicle of a life to our vast, wonderful life waiting for us!

For us as targets, it’s changing our outcome.  We don’t need their approval or their acceptance to enjoy our life.

I was ready to let my light shine again!  And he tried to snuff it out every chance he got.

Once he left:

  • He didn’t pay the bills in my name even though I was a stay at home mom
  • He took away one-half of the rental income…

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