Dealing with finances while planning to escape an abusive relationship can be a harrowing experience but experts say that low-income women have the capability to put a stop to the abuse once and for all.
Domestic abuse is a huge problem in America. In fact, 98% of women in abusive relationships choose not to leave due to a lack of money supply. The abuse does not stop there though because the children are also in harm’s way. National statistics show that one in 15 children are exposed to domestic abuse per year while 1 in 4 have seen their mothers being physically abused.
Apart from physical abuse and emotional trauma, abusive relationships also have an economic impact on victims. The annual cost of intimate partner abuse is now over $8.3 billion. Due to this economic loss, a financial plan is as important as the escape plan itself. Access to resources and ample financial security can make a huge difference in helping survivors leave an abusive relationship and can enable them to keep their children safe by bringing the kids with them.
Since low-income women are some of the most vulnerable members of society, they are more susceptible to financial abuse. Their lack of financial stability limits their choices altogether and can stop them from leaving an abusive partner. Experts note that 98% of those who manage to leave would later go back to their abusers because of the financial security that their partners provide. Although it is difficult to break free in this kind of situation, there are concrete steps that mothers can take to ensure their safety and the safety of their children.
Knowing where you stand
Knowing how much money you have will help you formulate a plan. You will need to check your savings and available credit and will need to check your insurance policies as well. With full knowledge of your finances, you’d be able to determine what and how much you will need.
It is easy to say that you need to build a safety net but in many abusive relationships, the abused party rarely has any control over household finances. If this is the case, it is best to contact people you trust. Borrowing money at this point is just one little step that you need to take. If savings are little to none, getting a good credit card is also a good idea. A card that will give you travel credit for airfare and hotels will prove to be useful upon leaving the relationship especially if you have children traveling with you. Finances will be tight and you need all the help you can get. It is also ideal to secure a credit card that offers coverage for emergency medical expenses.
Pertinent documents and assistance
You will need all-important paperwork to start your new life. Social workers advise that all pertinent documents should be in the hands of a trusted family member or friend before you implement your escape. If you do not have anyone to run to, key documents such as birth certificates, driver’s license, debit and credit information, insurance policies, and passports should be kept in a safe place.
It is also vital to remember that you are not alone in this journey. Considering what you and your children have gone through, you will need help to implement your escape plan. You can contact a local domestic violence program that can help you with an emergency fund, shelter, and legal aid. You can ask for help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE and proceed from there. Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult but you need to be brave and you need to do everything in your power to save yourself and your children.
Life after abuse
Life after abuse can be difficult not only due to the financial, physical, and psychological toll it has caused but because of what comes after. Mothers who escape from abusive partners will have to face financial problems. While the abuse that they have endured can significantly impair their ability to find a job, this shouldn’t stop women from trying to provide for their children. After all, as mothers, their foremost concern is to ensure that their kids are healthy, fed, and have a roof over their heads. Housing, employment, and transportation will need to be secured as soon as possible, according to experts but this can only be done if the mother musters some self-confidence.
If you are a mother who recently terminated an abusive relationship, examining your skillset is a good idea. This will help you determine which companies you can send your resume to. It is also advisable to seek help from family and friends because your network might have leads on a vacancy in your locality. During interviews, tell potential employers why you need a job. You will be surprised how kind people can be because even if you are not qualified for the position you applied for, an employer might be able to give you leads.
If one job is not enough to make ends meet, you can teach certain skills to others. If you like making crafts, you can sell your work online. The key, according to experts, is to believe in yourself and to keep exploring ways on how to provide for your children.