Category Archives: Domestic Violence

12 Steps to Protect Your Finances When Leaving an Abusive Relationship

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Lisa Orban was married to her abuser for three years. In 1990, she left after he threatened to kill her and their two young children.  She was 20 years old. Her financial situation in the marriage?  “Bad, in a nutshell,” she recalls. Not unusual for the time, her  husband was the main breadwinner, and he managed the finances.  “Whenever there was a chance that I might make enough money  or make more money than him or do anything to upset his  financial apple cart, so to speak, he would come in and  sabotage it.”

She lost multiple jobs because of his meddling. She moved with  him from her hometown in Illinois to Arizona for college, where  she’d won a four-year scholarship to study psychology. Before  she could start, he contacted the university and told them she’d  decided to drop out. “Imagine my surprise when I go to  registration day and find out that my scholarship is gone,” she says.

He even had control of the mailbox. He took her key, though she  thought she’d just lost it, and put off replacing it. That had major, unexpected financial ramifications. “It wasn’t until after we were divorced that I found out that I had not paid off my student loan.” The $4,000 loan ultimately cost her $38,000 to repay, she says.

The checks Orban thought were going into the mail were not, and the missed payment notices from her loan providers weren’t getting to her. He kept control of the checking account. He wouldn’t let her use the car alone. He knew how much money she earned, and he would accompany her to the bank to deposit her paychecks. He signed up for credit cards in her name.

By the time Orban left and filed for divorce, she was $80,000 in debt and didn’t even know about it.

About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe intimate partner violence in their lifetime, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Of those who experience violence, 98% also experience financial abuse. So what are ways you can protect your finances in a situation like this?

Steps to Prepare Your Finances Before Leaving
1. Connect with a Victim Advocate
2. Save Money
3. Make Copies of Important Documents
4. Cut Ties and Open a New Bank Account
5. Find a Financial Advisor
6. Find an Attorney.

Steps to Rebuild Your Finance After Leaving
7. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
8. Find Resolution on Lingering Debts
9. Create a New Budget
10. Rebuild Your Credit
11. If You Need to, Find a New Job and Housing
12. Prepare for Financial Success

As advocates at Haven House, we often see abusers restrict or limit access to the economic resources of the home. Spotting financial or economic abuse may be another way to spot that there may also physical, emotional, sexual, or mental abuse occurring in the home as well.

If you are experiencing this type of abuse or you think you know someone who may be, you can speak to one of our advocates to find out more info: 1-800-440-4633.

*Read the full article at: https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/life/wellness/leaving-an-abusive-relationship/

7 Times….Why so Many?

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Working as advocates for domestic violence victims, we often work with clients who do return to their abusive situations. We understand the reasons why and continue to offer support when they are ready to leave again. However many people ask “Why in the world do they go back? Why don’t they just leave?”

On average, a domestic violence victim will return to an abusive relationship up to seven times. It is important that we are able to recognize the “why”, so we can aim to intervene and break the cycle of returning to an abusive situation.

Why does a person return to an abusive relationship?

Unfamiliarity: Stepping out of everything a person knows can be scary. This can mean leaving friends, family, your home, and everything you know behind when leaving an abusive
relationship. Sometimes this unfamiliarity is too much and scary.
Manipulation: Abusers will continually try to persuade an individual to come back. This manipulation is often filled with empty promises, sweet talk, or even threats.
Love for the abuser: Even though a person may have been abused, they still feel a sense of love for their abuser, and return hoping that things will change.
Lack of Support: If a person doesn’t receive understanding from loved ones, and does not have access to vital resources they can often feel as though it is just easier to go back.
Fear of being alone: For some people the desire to feel a sense of belonging, even if its abusive, overtakes the desire to leave the relationship.

There are many more reasons why people return, but there are things we can do as individuals and as a community to help break this cycle.

-Support victims and speak encouragement into their lives.
-Provide access to vital resources and other support services.
-Involve them in activities and let them see hope beyond their abusive relationship.
-Continue to offer support, encouragement, and help even if a person goes back.
-Help them rediscover the things they loved before their abusive relationship (hobbies, activities, etc.)

Want to learn more about why people go back to an abusive
relationship or what you can do to help victims become
survivors? Call us today at 402-375-5433.

Late Life Domestic Violence

Article from the Administration on Aging

Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence, describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression (including coercive acts) by a current or former intimate partner and can occur across the lifespan to victims of all ages, including older adults. An intimate partner is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship that can be characterized by: emotional connectedness and regular contact; ongoing physical contact and sexual behavior; identity as a couple; and familiarity and knowledge about eachother’s lives. Perpetrators include spouses and former spouses, current or former partners, or another individual with whom the victim has an ongoing, personal relationship. The problem occurs in all communities, and affects people regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Although most victims are female, men can be harmed, too.

Generally, abusers use a pattern of coercive tactics, such as isolation, threats, intimidation, manipulation, and violence, to gain and maintain power over their victims. Often they tell their victims where they can go, whom they can see, and how they can spend their money—in other words, control their decisions. Some abusers use their role and power to financially exploit their victims. Others feel that they are entitled to get their way because they are the “head of the household,” or because they are younger and physically stronger than their victim is.

Some experts view late-life domestic violence as a sub-set of the larger elder abuse problem. Elder abuse, broadly defined, includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse, financial exploitation, neglect and self-neglect, and abandonment. The distinctive context of domestic violence in later life is the abusive use of power and control by a spouse/partner or other person known to the victim in a close, personal way.

Sometimes life changes as you grow older can lead to an increase in abuse in unhealthy relationships. There is no excuse for abuse. If you believe that you or someone you may know may be experiencing abuse in your relationship you can speak to an advocate today. All services are free and confidential and you get to make the decisions about your relationship.
Please call 1-800-440-4633.