So in 2005, the Allstate Foundation decided to get involved, believing it could bring its expertise and resources as a financial services provider to the issue. Since then, he has invested over $ 66 million in the Purple Purse program and has helped over 1.7 million survivors. Lisak says the latest campaign, No Financial Abuse, No Domestic Violence, launched in August, hopes to educate the public about the signs of financial abuse, help people feel comfortable having conversations about the epidemic. and eliminate the social stigma that surrounds it.
So what are some of these signs to watch out for? Lisak explains that they are often difficult to see because financial abuse is used as an “invisible weapon” and is not accompanied by the visible injuries so often associated with domestic violence. But here are some things to watch out for.
Restricted expenses: When a partner severely limits and controls how money is dispersed in a relationship, perhaps by demanding receipts for any money spent. The victim may worry excessively about how her partner will react to even the smallest household expenses.
To steal money : When a partner uses the person’s credit card, checkbook or ATM card without their knowledge.
Prevent access to financial accounts: Is a partner blocked from shared accounts?
Sabotage of education or employment: When a partner prevents the person from going to school or working as a means of control.
Exclusion from financial planning: Is the person excluded from all important decisions about money in the household?
Generate debt: Does a partner refuse to pay the bills and accumulate credit cards?
Susan, a survivor, who requested that we not use her last name, was living away from her family when she entered into a new relationship. She was in graduate school and working full time, but her partner eventually stopped contributing financially. “I had a good income. I had good credit, and it was all in my name when we moved in together, so my choice was to either let it go to waste or just work more, ”she tells us. “I tried to do this, but when you go to school full time and work full time, it’s very difficult. So eventually things started to slip.
In Susan’s case, the abuse escalated into a night of violence, during which her partner was arrested and entered a mental health facility. “The point is, when someone talks about your partner, even though you know there are issues, you are defensive. So don’t do it for the abuser; do it for the survivor, ”says Susan. “Focus on their needs and how you can support and help them. Judgment is an important thing that makes people feel defensive. It is important to say, “I only talk about it because I care and I will support you as much as I can. “
Lisak adds that there are several resources listed on the purple handbag. website to help start those difficult conversations, and that the National helpline on domestic violence is always available to help you find local shelters and experts if needed.
After a while, Susan was able to get back on her feet, but she has some advice for other women. “I think it’s really important for young women, in particular, to know about finance and understand financial intimacy with a partner,” she says. “I think we just think it’s something that we will automatically know how to handle well or that we will handle like our parents or grandparents did. But it’s a different world, and we have to look at, you know, what’s the financial situation of the person who [you’re] get in touch with.
“It’s always important to stay in control of your finances,” says Williams. “And to keep an eye on the little things and trust yourself and your instincts.”
To learn more about financial abuse and how to get help, go to violetpurse.com.