Domestic Violence Isn't Always Physical...
When most people read or hear about domestic violence, their minds often think of physical abuse. However, domestic violence can include other forms of abuse such as emotional, sexual and financial abuse. As defined by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors, violence, or threats of violence that one person uses to establish power and control over an intimate partner.
According to the annual report to the legislature by FCADV, financial abuse occurs in 98% of all domestic violence cases. In the annual report, survivors stated that abusers utilized a multitude of economically-related tactics to gain and maintain power and control over them. Some tactics that an abuser can utilize to maintain power and control include:
- Ruining their partner’s credit
- Giving an allowance to their partner
- Denying access to income or financial accounts
- Making financial decisions without consulting their partner
- Not paying child support so they can’t afford rent, food, and other needed items
- Preventing their partner from working or demanding they quit their job
- Stalking or harassing their partner at work
Experiencing financial abuse can prohibit a survivor from leaving an abusive relationship since they don’t have the financial security to move into a safe place. At HOPE Family Services, we have established the Economic Empowerment program where the participant can meet with an advocate to create a financial safety plan and work on achieving financial independence.
Our Economic Empowerment program can assist participants with developing a spending plan or budget, securing affordable housing, and achieve higher education such as a GED, certifications, or degrees. The program also helps with assistance in job search strategies, resume development, and job interview skills to help obtain employment. We work with our participants based upon what their goals are so that they can achieve economic stability.