Oftentimes, when we hear the word “abuse”, we associate it with only meaning emotional or physical abuse. But the truth is there are many types of abuse, which may include:
Emotional or psychological abuse
After running across this long list of the different types of abuse one can encounter, the one that caught my attention was financial abuse, especially since I had never heard of it before, although, I have always felt that one’s financial situation plays a huge part in them accepting other forms of abuse.
Society teaches us to shame a victim of abuse as if they have done something wrong to deserve it. No matter the type of abuse one has experienced or is experiencing, it often goes unreported due to societal norms, taboos, stigma, and the "sensitive" nature of the subject.⠀
Financial abuse involves controlling a victim's ability to acquire, use, and maintain financial resources. Those who are victimized financially may be prevented from working.
They also may have their own money restricted or stolen by the abuser. And rarely do they have complete access to money and other resources. When they do have money, they often have to account for every penny they spend.
While financial planning is the best way to combat financial stress, but many Americans, including myself at one time, prefer to ignore the problem which ultimately only makes matters worse.
My Experience With Financial Abuse
In 2017, I was so tired of “trying” that I began just settling.
I met the man that I thought was my Clark Kent.
Becoming a single mom of two sons actually helped me discover just how strong I truly was, but because of my conditioning, no matter how strong I may have seemed, I had always felt deep down that in order to provide my sons the best life possible I needed someone to save me, whether that be a man or the government.
It was like I felt that it was someone else’s responsibility to make sure that we were okay. Don’t get me wrong, sure, I would work a job, sometimes even two or three jobs to support my family, but unlike Kevin Gates, I do get tired.
And because I didn’t have a clear understanding of what love was or looked like, this man was able to break me down over a short time. He was controlling, jealous, paranoid, and worst of all abusive.
While he never abused my children, he violently abused me on more than one occasion.
Here was a man with some money who had no children of his own and was willing to help me in raising my sons. He would go out and buy us things.
At the time, I felt that his acts were simply acts of kindness, so you can only imagine that during the wooing stage of the relationship I thought I had hit the jackpot.
Now what I had not realized during any of this is that financial abuse is often the first sign of dating violence and domestic abuse, because before the physical or emotional abuse, first came his money issues.
I was asked to take out a car title loan on my car to help him out with little to no details on what I was helping him out with, only assured that he’d pay it back. But guess what? I ended up getting stuck paying it all back on my own, with him only coming through when I absolutely needed him to.
The physical abuse didn’t take long to escalate. It started out as a choke here, a punch to the jaw there. I think his attacks were somewhat contained because I had my sons, but when we were truly alone, I ended up with two black eyes.
After doing that to me, he then treated me as if I were a wounded animal that he’d found on the side of the road and took care of me and my bruises he had inflicted, it was so sickening. I somehow managed to fall asleep in his arms, but I was truly terrified for my life after that incident.
Whose Responsibility Is It To Protect You?
Women with abusive partners often face tremendous threats to their financial well-being and barriers to realizing their personal financial capability. Their abusers typically use physical, psychological, and economic tactics to isolate, control, exploit, and terrorize their partners.
For many women, these actions have devastating consequences because victims often become financially dependent on their abusers.
This financial dependence traps them in the relationship and without resources, they are unable to see a way out of their situation. Therefore, a large number of them stay due to the fear of not being financially stable on their own.
I don’t know which is worse: the abuse that a woman experiences at the hands of a person who claims to love her or the justice system put in place failing to keep her safe.
On March 8, 2021, just one day after seven women were shot dead at three different massage parlors near Atlanta, Georgia, the House (244-172) were able to get approved with bipartisan support a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act
, a 1994 law that has since been introduced into Congress and has lapsed several times since being initially introduced.
This law is/was set to protect and provide resources for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. ⠀
Around the debate on this matter, President Biden
was recorded saying, "This should not be a Democratic or Republican issue—it's about standing up against the abuse of power and preventing violence." ⠀
The sad thing about his statement is that he is absolutely correct. This should not be a Democratic or Republican issue, but some of those people that were sworn into office as the voice of the people view this as nothing more than that. An issue amongst the parties.
As a victor of domestic violence myself, I find it disturbing that someone that sells drugs to provide a way for their family could be sentenced to more time on their first offense than someone who beats and tortures a woman for hours because she happened to survive the attack instead of being killed, even if that was her attacker’s intentions because it may have been the first time reported.
No, I am not endorsing someone selling drugs, only using that as a point that the laws weren't really intended to protect us. This blog post is meant to bring that to your awareness; that someone in charge deemed selling drugs as more harmful than being violent towards women.⠀
Women are not being protected or respected. Therefore, it's extremely important that she be able to identify financial abuse as a way to protect herself since it is mainly her sole responsibility for doing so. Here are some examples of how financial abuse typically starts out:
Trying to control your use of or access to money you have earned or saved
Taking money or using credit cards without permission
Ruining your credit history by running up limits and then not paying bills
Claiming to make payments or pay bills in your name but not following through
Borrowing money or making charges without repaying it
Expecting you to pay for their bills or their obligations
Requiring you to bail them out of difficult financial situations
The forms of financial abuse tend to vary from situation to situation, but the majority of the time the abuser may use subtle tactics like manipulation, while other abusers may be more overt, demanding, and intimidating.
Regardless of the attacker’s methods, I urge all of you, for your family’s sake, to focus on improving your financial literacy and money management skills, as it will benefit you and your family in the long run. It is your only way to ensure that you aren’t subjected to any form of abuse, especially financial abuse.
**If you or someone you know is experiencing any type of abuse, please reach out for more support. You are not alone.
My goal is to spend as much time offline as humanly possible. I have two little guys that demand my attention outside of work and am aware that you have little ones that are just as demanding as mine are. If we're not connected on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, be sure to find me there. I'm always down to connect and answer any questions, feel free to reach out to me and my team at email@example.com!
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Hi! I'm Asha.
Born and raised in South Carolina, I’m a country girl who’s passionate about making a difference in the world. I’m an obsessive learner who spends time reading, creating, and selling online educational programs for mothers.