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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. It was established by Congress in 1986 with the help of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence organization. One in four women and one in ten men in the United States experience domestic violence and intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of crimes among the ages of 18-25 in the US.

These shocking numbers speak volumes and reinforce the need to create more awareness and action around this issue. There are many misconceptions about domestic violence and the circumstances of victims in abusive relationships. Leaving an abusive relationship can be a tremendous feat.

Violence and abuse can come in many forms, including physical, emotional, psychological, and economical. The impacting effects of domestic abuse hinder a person’s ability to feel empowered from leaving an abusive situation.

There is a lesser-known form of domestic abuse that I would like to focus on. It affects 99% of domestic violence survivors and is one of the main reasons domestic violence victims remain in abusive relationships. Many victims experience financial abuse in their relationships. So what exactly is financial abuse? Financial abuse is when an abusive partner takes away a victim’s ability to control their own monetary means and independence in making financial decisions. It creates a dependency in which victims feel more subjected to their circumstances due to the lack of access to their financial resources. It impacts a victim’s ability to feel self-sufficient outside of the abusive relationship and makes it more difficult to leave.

Here are some of the key signs of financial abuse;

  1. Not having access to your bank account

  2. Not having the ability to work

  3. An abuser takes away money earned through a job

  4. A partner gives you an allowance

  5. A partner controls the way you spend your money

If you believe you are in a relationship with domestic violence, please reach out to 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788.

Understanding the many forms of abuse can be the first step in helping victims leave difficult circumstances. Here are some resources to better understand the many facets of Domestic Abuse.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

The National Hotline:

Safe Horizons:

By: Carolay Ceballos

Mental Health Counseling Intern

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