Domestic Violence Awareness: Financial Abuse is Domestic Violence

‘My Husband Never Let Me Spend More than $200 a Month on Food’

One woman shares her story of financial abuse, an all-too-common form of domestic violence.

 October 17, 2016
Advertisement

Domestic Violence Awareness: Financial Violence        

 

Financial Violence: 4 Signs to Watch for in a New Relationship

(Image: iStock.com/PeopleImages)

(Image: iStock.com/PeopleImages)

By        –Blackenterprise.com

Most people think of domestic or intimate partner violence in physical terms, however there are other recognizable forms of abuse that can be predictors of the potential for physical violence in a relationship. These forms of abuse include verbal, emotional, and financial violence.

Recognizing these predictive patterns of behavior early while still getting to know someone is critical in avoiding abusive relationships. As a personal finance journalist, educator, and the co-creator of Grown Zone Relationship Education, I am passionate about teaching people what they need to know to protect themselves, in their pursuit of healthy intimate relationships.

Because a person’s relationship with money is often a reflection of a person’s sense of self-esteem, power, and control, signs of a financial abuser can actually be spotted relatively early on in relationships, long before physical abuse even becomes apparent. Unfortunately, because of our reluctance to address financial habits and behaviors in relationships, typically acts of financial violence are overlooked or dismissed.

Protecting your finances—as well as your emotional health and physical safety—means vigilantly watching for signs of financially abusive behaviors in a relationship.

Examples of such abuse include the following:

  1. Your partner attempts to read your mail, go through your purse, or otherwise gain access to your money and/or personal financial information without your knowledge or consent, or over your objections. In the beginning, they may insist that they are “just playing” or that they are doing it to get a rise out of you. Don’t be fooled—they are not playing.
  2. They engage in behaviors that undermine your ability to get a job, start a business, or that put the job or business you have at risk. It could begin with always calling when they know you have an important meeting, or showing up at your job or at a business lunch unannounced.
  3. They exhibit “Jekyll and Hyde” personas, demonstrating financial generosity in front of other people, but vindictiveness when the two of you are alone. For example, on a double date at an expensive restaurant, he or she may insist that you may order whatever you want on the menu. Then later, while driving you home, they may angrily accuse you of taking advantage of their generosity and insist that you owe them. This usually means you are expected to acquiesce to anything they demands of you, including sex.
  4. They constantly press you to grant financial favors, such as extending loans and paying their bills, and they react angrily or maliciously when you don’t. Punishment for your failure to grant requests could range from withering verbal attacks to destruction of your property.

If you see any of these signs of financial violence, do not ignore them. Minimizing or dismissing them could not only put your financial health at risk, it could also literally put your life in danger. According to theNational Network to End Domestic Violence, financial violence is experienced in 98% of abusive relationships.

Recognizing the signs of a financial abuser early in a relationship should prompt you to end it immediately, to minimize damage to your finances and avoid becoming a target of other forms of abuse. When it comes to domestic violence, as with most threats to your health and safety, prevention is far better than the cure of rescue and recovery after damage is done.

The key to avoiding abuse is setting and strictly enforcing standards for your treatment in relationships. Adopt a zero-tolerance policy against any form of abuse, including financial violence. As we say in the Grown Zone, the rules of love and money are the same as for boxing: protect yourself at all times.

All credits belong to                            Black Enterprise Executive Editor-at-Large Alfred Edmond Jr. is an award-winning business and financial journalist, media executive, entrepreneurship expert, personal growth/relationships coach, and co-founder of Grown Zone, a relationship education initiative focused on personal growth and healthy decision-making. Follow him on Twitter at @AlfredEdmondJr.

Fear at #Financial Abuse

When my husband was home I lived in a constant state of fear not from him hitting me but from his words. He never spoke to me unless he was yelling screaming and calling me names. Now I live from the fear of not knowing whats going to happen to me. If someone is going to come to the door with bad news.  I can’t seem to find anyway to get someone to help me. I wash dishes, fold clothes and clean up my neighbors kitchens for them being so kind sharing their food with me because that’s all I have. I need some kind of way to at least get some temporary support from my husband. If anyone reading this have suggestions please let me know.  I use to not be able to sleep because I was hungry now I don’t sleep because I am so worried.

PS. I was just strolling thru the blogs and found the following blog from secretangelministry.org an it gave me such comfort that I Reblogged it. It was like an immediate comfort to the pain and fear I was experiencing at the exact moment.