Domestic Violence is defined as a pattern of behavior used to establish power or control over another individual. When we hear the term Domestic Violence we often think first of physical abuse in a romantic relationship. However there’s a key piece to these behavior patterns that frequently goes overlooked; financial abuse.
Financial abuse can be a side effect of physical abuse, such as a partner breaking your phone during a fit of rage, which not only prevents you from calling for help in the moment, but also adds the burden of purchasing a replacement phone to your list of financial obligations.
Financial abuse can also be paired with psychological abuse. Take the relationship between pimp & prostitute for instance, pimps establish a power over prostitutes by making them believe that without the protection of the pimp a prostitute is worse off. Pimps also demand the financial earnings of a prostitute, by establishing control over the income, they prevent the prostitute from developing enough savings to escape the boundaries of the pimps control.
Last week I touched loosely on stalking, and shared personal stalking experiences in CRAY-DAR . Women lose 8,000,000 days of paid work due to the abuse perpetrated against them by current and former male partners. That is the equivalent to 32,000 full time jobs. 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse. If your man or your ex is stalking you and he shows up to your job and puts on a show or assaults you or anyone else in your workplace that impacts your source income and is financial abuse. If you have to call out of work to seek medical attention or to avoid questions about a swollen eye repeatedly, and this leads to the loss of your job. That IS financial abuse.
Take back control over your MONEY,re-establish POWER over your own finances, and RESPECT yourself enough to develop a financial plan to make that transition from victim to survivor.
There are resources available to help you. Purple Purse offers a financial empowerment curriculum to help victims become survivors by Moving Ahead Through Financial Management.
You can also visit thehotline.org for more resources. Trained advocates are available to take your calls through their toll free, 24/7 hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).