Note: This post may contain triggers for those who have been in abusive relationships or been through sexual assault.
What is Financial Abuse? It’s when the person ‘in power’ – the abuser – controls their victim’s access to money, including:
- controlling their spending
- stealing their money, credit, property, or identity
- denying them access to financial accounts and credit cards
- hiding assets from them
- keeping them from getting a job or pursuing education or training
Essentially, it’s a control tactic 99% of domestic/intimate partner violence abusers use to keep their victims trapped.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the U.S.
“Each year, more women are touched by domestic violence than breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer combined.” ~ Purple Purse, Allstate Foundation
One in four women are known to be a victim of domestic violence sometime in their life. Which means we all likely know someone, a mother, a sister, a daughter, co-worker or friend, who has experienced physical, emotional, and financial abuse. Or you may currently be experiencing it or have in the past.
Domestic violence, however, does not discriminate.
Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of domestic violence/abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship. ~ NDVH
Without adequate financial means, victims are often unable to break free from their abusive relationships.
But there are resources available to help, for both the victims and those who love them.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline – Advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages, TTY 1-800-787-3224. All calls are free and confidential.
Theresa’s Fund and DomesticShelters.org – A searchable directory of domestic violence programs and shelters in the U.S. and Canada.
Numerous resources are also provided by the Purple Purse, an Allstate Foundation, dedicated to ending domestic violence through financial empowerment of the victims.
“Helping women take control of their finances” is our tagline here at Women Who Money, as we too believe financial empowerment is fundamental to being in control of your life. View our articles by category or level, using the drop-down menu under the ‘Articles’ tab at the top of this site, or use the search tool in the sidebar to find relevant information.
If you are in an abusive situation, develop a path to safety, reach out to family or friends, and use the resources above for help.
Should you know of someone in need of help, please share these resources mentioned.
If you are moved to help support victims who need aid with shelter, food, counseling, legal assistance, and more, you can find ways to donate to the national hotline here or see the wish list of a domestic shelter near you here.