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peace at home

Identifying Financial Abuse

Financial, or economic, abuse is a form of domestic violence that is easily overlooked. This silent abuse can provide just as much power and control over a victim as physical or emotional abuse. It is important to be aware of the signs of financial abuse and how it progresses.

Financial abuse may start off with your partner suggesting joint banking accounts to make things easier on you, or to feel more unified as a couple and prepare for the future. With time, the abuser takes more and more control over your finances until you are financially dependent on him/her.

Your partner may:

  • Prevent you from getting or keeping a job
  • Require you to track and report all spending
  • Take your paychecks or benefits
  • Make you ask for money
  • Give you an allowance or budget
  • Not allow you to spend money on yourself, while he/she does
  • Not inform you on the total family income or allow access to it
  • Withhold payments to credit cards in your name

Financial abuse can leave you feeling powerless and is often intertwined with other forms of domestic violence. If you are a victim of financial abuse, contact Peace at Home’s Crisis Hotline at 479-442-9811 for help. We offer several different services and can refer you to local resources, as well.

Importance of Having a Support System

When experiencing or recovering from domestic abuse, being able to talk to people you trust about your situation is invaluable. There are many benefits to having a support system, like reducing personal distress, gaining an outside perspective, receiving encouragement, increasing your ability to deal with stress, and even enhancing your mental health and self-esteem. Your support system can include whoever you trust to listen to and support you, and can offer genuine help or advice if you want it. This can include family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or professionals. You can also receive trained support from advocates or organizations focused on whatever your situation calls for.

There are also other ways you can find people to support you. Getting involved in social groups that meet regularly can connect you with others who are looking to form friendships, meet goals, or learn. This can take the form of fitness classes, crafting groups, book clubs, educational classes, volunteering, or support groups.

The purpose of having a support group is so that you don’t feel like you’re going through life alone. Receiving help can make a large difference in your life, and help can come in ways you wouldn’t expect. Even reaching out about something that seems unimportant can give you connections to resources that you wouldn’t have thought to ask about. Having people who care about you keeps you motivated and focused.

It’s never too late to start your own support group. It can begin as simply as picking up the phone and calling someone you trust- or even doing more research on how to get involved with others. You can contact Peace at Home if you have any questions about our services, or other local resources that may be able to help.

Peace at Home offers weekly support groups to survivors of domestic abuse. You can contact advocates at 479-442-9811 for more information. Groups are held in both English and Spanish.