Domestic violence affects millions globally, and for survivors, the journey toward healing can be long and complex. Economic security is a crucial part of that journey, as achieving economic independence can pave the way for them to escape abusive relationships and rebuild their lives.
Why Is Economic Security Important for Domestic Violence Survivors?
Economic abuse — also known as financial abuse — is often intertwined with physical and emotional abuse. Abusers frequently use finances as a tool to control, disempower, and keep their victims trapped. They might prohibit the survivor from working, control their income, or rack up debts in their name. This financial control leaves survivors feeling trapped; without resources, they fear they can’t leave or support themselves and their children.
Therefore, gaining economic security is often the first step to breaking the cycle of abuse.
Achieving Economic Security: Action Steps for Survivors
Seek employment and training. Pursue job opportunities or vocational training. Establishing a source of income for yourself is a crucial step in economic security.
Create a financial plan. Understand your income, debts, and expenses so that you can effectively manage your finances. Here at My Sister’s Place (MSP), our programs and services for domestic violence survivors include financial literacy resources to help them on their journey to independence.
Establish personal banking. Open a bank account in your name. Ensure it’s at a different bank from your abuser to avoid accidental information sharing.
Rebuild credit. If your credit was damaged due to the abuser’s actions, start rebuilding. Request free credit reports, dispute inaccuracies, and consider getting a secured credit card.
Leverage community resources. Utilize local shelters, social services, or nonprofits that offer financial assistance, housing, or counseling services. At MSP, we offer our clients the Fresh Start Fund, which provides clients in our housing programs with financial support for emergency expenses that may destabilize their ability to remain safely housed and for eligible educational and employment training expenses that support their path to self-sufficiency.
We also offer RISE Trust, a cash transfer program that’s part of our RISE Housing programs. This program provides survivors in our RISE Housing programs with a gateway to leave abusers and supports them on their journey of recovery and economic independence. With RISE Trust, MSP now provides $500/month for a two-year period for 30 clients and $500/month for a one-year period for 15 clients.
Economic security provides more than just financial stability; it offers hope, freedom, and a pathway to a safer future. Empowering survivors with the tools and resources they need to achieve economic independence is essential in their journey to reclaiming their lives. Donate today to support MSP’s important work, or explore our programs and services to see how we can help you.
My Sister’s Place (MSP) shelters, supports, and empowers survivors of domestic violence and their children while providing leadership and education to build a supportive community. We offer a full continuum of care, from emergency shelter through transitional-to-permanent housing. MSP also provides training, case consultation, and advocacy to engage communities to prevent violence and abuse. Donate today to help us end the cycle of domestic violence and empower survivors to build healthy lives and relationships.