Dealing with money can be stressful enough, but trying to deal with money after exiting an abusive relationship definitely take the icing off the cake.
Statistics shows that:
- 1 in 4 women report violence in their family in their lifetimes.
- 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths caused each year as a result of domestic violence.
- All cultural, religious, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds are affected by domestic violence.
- Nearly 2.2 million people called local and national domestic violence hotlines starting from the age of 18 and older.
- Nearly 8 million days of paid work each year is lost due to domestic violence.
There are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships, but one that makes it especially difficult for victims to leave is money. If a victim is financially dependent on their abuser for income, walking away is made all the more difficult. They often struggle to become financially self-sufficient, greater risk at falling into poverty or even homelessness.
I was a victim of domestic violence, and now I am a survivor able to share my own personal experience. I was in an abusive marriage. I must say since I have paid closer attention to the significant red flags early on, today I am proudly remarried.
11 Tips on Gaining a Money Mindset After an Abusive Relationship:
- Do not allow your financial struggles while rebuilding your empire, make you return back to your abuser. Once you have gained the courage and power to leave, keep moving forward and don’t look back.
- Keep your emotions & money separate. Mind over Money. You may not get another chance to leave again with the gift of life.
- If your ex has knowledge of or access to your passwords, SSN, credit card statements or other identifying info, it would be a good idea to take the following measures to secure your personal information:
- Closing any joint bank accounts & credit cards.
- Put a security freeze on your credit report so that your ex can’t continue to use your social security number.
- Access your free annual credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
- If your abuser ruined your credit score check out the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Response Center by visiting www.ftc.gov.
- Information on marital debt visit www.womenslaw.org and www.wife.org.
- Outlet for Victims of Domestic Violence to become Survivors visit www.thestillstandingfoundation.org.
- You may consider opening your own checking account (Credit Union Account Recommended) to start building your own credit history and savings.
- Downgrade whatever aspects of your lifestyle that you can compromise on, such as downgrade to a smaller dwelling now that you have left your abuser. After explaining your situation to a landlord, he/she may allow you to pay a small deposit and partial rent until you start receiving regular paychecks again.
- If you have a luxury vehicle trade it in for something more economical.
- Rewrite your will & change your beneficiaries on your insurance policies.
Finally, update both short and long-term financial goals. Sell any things that will simply remind you of your previous abusive relationship. And celebrate moving on.
Here is a quick video to help you identify how to leave an abusive relationship
Video Courtesy of Watch Well Cast