Friday, October 25, 2013

Financial Advice for Domestic Violence Victims

October in National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Domestic Violence comes in many forms: physical, sexual, financial, emotional (verbal) or threats or violence.  Domestic violence also includes behavior that can intimidate, hurt, humiliate, injure, blame, scare or harass someone.  If you have been a victim get professional help via a counselor, therapist, pastor or psychiatrist.  Domestic violence can have a tremendous impact on your life and the life of your children.  Getting help is the only way to gain strength to prevent being abused again.  Every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted.  Most domestic violence cases are never reported to the police. Women ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk for domestic violence. I was a victim of domestic violence and didn’t tell anyone until after I ended the tumultuous relationship. I am so ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone what I was going through.  I have recovered and am now aware of the warning signs. Luckily we did not live together so my finances were not affected.

If you are someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence encourage them to leave their current situation and get help. Here are some financial tips to help former or current victims of domestic violence.  According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline these are signs of domestic violence.

Emotional Abuse:

  • Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
  • Watches your time, how you long it takes you to go somewhere and come back.
  • Does not want you to work.
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money.
  • Punishes you by withholding affection.
  • Expects you to ask permission to do something.
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets.
  • Humiliates you in any way.
  • Yells at you and then later apologizes.

Physical Abuse:
  • Damages property when angry (throws objects, punches walls, kicked doors, etc.).
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or chokes you.
  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
  • Scared you by driving recklessly.
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
  • Forced you to leave your home.
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
  • Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
  • Hurt your children.
  • Used physical force in sexual situations.

Sexual Abuse:
  • Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
  • Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
  • Wants you to dress in a sexual way.
  • Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
  • Has ever forced or manipulated you into to having sex or performing sexual acts.
  • Held you down during sex.
  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you.
  • Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.
  • Involved other people in sexual activities with you.
  • Ignored your feelings regarding sex.

Here are 14 financial tips to help you get back on track with your finances.

  1. If you are entitled to child support and/or alimony get it
  2. Open a savings account and contribute regularly, save enough to cover bills for 12-18 months
  3. Pay bills online
  4. Use direct deposit
  5. Open a new checking account with overdraft protection
  6. Control your spending, reduce spending by 30-50%, trade in your luxury car for a cheaper model
  7. Start a retirement account
  8. Update beneficiary information yearly
  9. Open one new account in your name
  10. Close any joint accounts and cancel the cards
  11. Purchase life insurance for you and your children
  12. Remove your name as an authorized user from joint accounts
  13. Create a will
  14. Develop a support network to get advice, support and encouragement

Here are some resources to help you get out of your current situation.

  1. or call 800-799-7233

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