Domestic Violence and Financial Independence
Domestic violence is not only about deliberate emotional, psychological, and emotional trauma; it frequently includes financial abuse. Financial abuse occurs when an abusive husband, boyfriend, or partner forces financial dependence onto their partner. This type of abuse takes the face of prohibiting someone access to any of the household’s financial resources, forbidding a partner to have a job, forbidding credit card use, banning unaccompanied shopping or driving alone, and/or micro-managing any authorized expenditures.
Ironically, studies have shown that in 98 percent of all domestic violence cases, financial abuse is one of the leading causes why survivors stay in their abusive situation. With no money or access to money, they are afraid they will end up homeless and in despair. Lack of money keeps a survivor dependent on her abuser—and in the abusive home.
Thanks to social media and in-depth reporting, the public is becoming more aware of financial abuse and its part in domestic violence. Furthermore, as more people become educated and better informed, they are more likely to recognize a financial abuse situation so they can step in to help or refer for help. Knowledge is indeed power and learning what your options are as a domestic abuse survivor is the first step to starting a new, safe, and financially responsible life. Read more about what you can do to protect yourself and potentially avoid financial abuse.
The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) understands how paralyzing financial abuse can be. FCADV is the professional association for Florida’s 42 domestic violence centers. The Florida Department of Financial Services, in partnership with FCADV, created a program promoting financial responsibility: Your L.I.F.E. (Learn Individual Financial Empowerment). This campaign empowers and assists survivors how to be financially independent by providing financial resources and information that will increase financial literacy. Click here to learn more about how you can begin to make a workable plan.
The Purple Purse is another program developed to help financially abused survivors. Also working closely with FCADV, the Allstate Foundation sponsors Purple Purse’s annual campaign to promote fiscal empowerment. As with the Florida Department of Financial Services, these organizations hope to end financial domestic abuse.
Purple Purse reaches out into the community to remind everyone that resources stand at the ready to help survivors learn how to handle money, how to save and budget, and how to move towards financial independence. This year, Harbor House of Central Florida will participate in our 3rd Purple Purse campaign. Help us make this campaign another success by tweeting and/or “liking” us on Facebook. Help us end financial abuse.
And always remember: if you are in an abusive relationship or you fear for someone else who is in an abusive relationship, please call the domestic abuse hotline in Florida at 800-500-1119. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for crisis counseling and to help you make a plan to guide you to better financial stability, safety, and a new beginning