Financial Literacy

Issue: Research indicates that financial abuse is experienced in 98% of abusive relationships.

Lack of financial independence is a major obstacle that victims must overcome when trying to get out of an abusive relationship. Through our Financial Literacy Program, we teach survivors how to achieve financial liberation and independence through coursework on budgeting, retirement, and family planning. In the past, this program was supported by Northwestern Mutual and TD Bank.

Last year, we helped about 30 women and this year, we look to assist over 40 women and their families.

What is Financial Abuse (Economic Abuse)

Financial abuse, also known as economic abuse, prevents victims from gaining freedom and independence. Surveys of survivors consistently reflect that that concerns over their ability to provide financially for themselves and their children was one of the top reasons for staying in a battering relationship.
Cycle of financial/economic abuse:

  • Abusers take charge of the victim’s finances in an effort to gain control over their life. They often attempt to sabotage the victim’s credit score.
    • Sabotaging a victim’s credit score can be done in multiple ways:
      • Forcing the partner to open a new account in their name, and then creating large debt in the account
      • Overdrafting credit cards
      • Denying access to their own or combined savings accounts
    • Wrecking a credit score can affect someone’s ability to rent an apartment, a new credit card with low APR, buy a car, or even get a job.
  • Being financially educated can help provide stability for the victim during and after the relationship.
  • Obtaining financial literacy can help people find ways of improving their credit score, save more, and achieve financial comfort

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For more information, please visit our page about coerced debt.