Breaking Free from Financial Abuse
Are you considering leaving your abuser? If so, one of the factors that might keep you stuck in the abuse is lack of finances. Abusers often try to keep their victims tied to them financially by the following means:
- They prevent you from getting a job, or bother you constantly at your job until you get fired.
- They hold all the family money. Even if you DO have a job, they take your money as soon as you get it. If you have no job, they put you on an “allowance,” or give you money only when they feel like it.
- They refuse or “forget” to pay important bills, like the rent, mortgage, electricity or water bill.
- They steal your identity or credit rating. They may take credit cards out in your name, then run them up to the limit, and not pay them off. They may forge your name on loans that they don’t pay off. Both these actions will hurt your credit, making it difficult for you to get your own apartment, car loan or credit card later on.
- They lie on tax returns, and force you to sign the erroneous return against your will, causing you to be in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. Or, they don’t file a tax return at all.
These are just some of the many ways an abuser might try to keep you financially tied to him/her.
What can you do about it?
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to escape, is there anything you can do to repair your credit rating, or save some money in order to escape the clutches of your abuser?
Yes, there is!
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and the Allstate Foundation have created several short online videos to help empower you to become more financially stable.
I’ve watched several of these, and found them to be very helpful. If you ARE considering leaving your abuser, please be aware that the most dangerous time for an abuse victim is when s/he tries to leave. Because of this, I advise you to make a safety plan before leaving. I recommend you read my blog on Safety Planning, and consult a domestic violence advocate to work out the details of your specific plan.
Dear Lord, I pray those who are feeling stuck in financially abusive relationships will find this information helpful. I pray You give them the hope they need to feel empowered to take control of their finances, and look into creating a safety plan so that they can leave their abuser safely. Amen.