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The cost of domestic violence

Domestic violence can take many forms. People incorrectly assume that victims of domestic violence walk around with visible signs of their tortured home life plastered all over their body. Besides the physical beatings, it is common for abusers to exert their control using psychological, sexual, verbal and financial abuse. Power and control are what fuels an abuser and they will use any means necessary to maintain their dominant position.

Economic impact on victims

According to the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence 64% of victims indicated their ability to work was affected by the violence they experienced in their personal life. Frequently victims suffer a drop in productivity in conjunction with a lack of ability to concentrate and as a result, can end up jobless.

Characteristic behaviors of economic abusers:

  • Prevents you from having or maintaining a job
  • Interferes with your ability to keep a job
  • Harasses, stalks or calls you incessantly at your place of work
  • Controls your access to family finances
  • Does not allow you to put your name on financial accounts
  • Forces you to ask for money
  • Provides you with an allowance
  • Takes your money
  • Uses your name to open credit cards and create debt

Abuse often escalates over time. The victim’s ability to become self-sufficient is significantly damaged after suffering economic abuse. Depending on the severity of the abuse, victims face difficulty obtaining housing, car loans and the means to make a living. This type of debasement is often a big reason why someone is unable to leave an abusive relationship. 

If you are in an abusive situation, understand that you are not alone and that help is available. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit www.thehotline.org.

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