This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect.
The recent headlines concerning the domestic abuse by Ray Rice and the NFL’s response have been troubling, to say the least. The viciousness of Mr. Rice punching his then fiancé has been played over and over so many times, it is difficult to see what good could come from such a heinous act. Yet, if there are any positives that can be found in such a tragic incident, one is the focus and awareness of domestic violence that has been generated by the media attention.
Most people think only of physical abuse when they consider domestic violence. Yet, financial abuse happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence and is one of the most powerful ways to keep a victim trapped.
I decided to pick my husband’s brain on the matter for further insight, considering he works in the finance industry.
What exactly is financial abuse?
The “aggressive” form of financial abuse is easy to spot, and most women will know exactly when their mate is victimizing them. This can take the form of the man taking away his wife’s credit or debit cards to “punish” her for some transgression, or using her hard earned money for frivolous, selfish purchases. This type of abuse is even more difficult for women to report, because it can be embarrassing to admit being dependent (if that’s the case), and it certainly doesn’t leave a physical mark like a punch might, yet can be just as mentally devastating.
The “passive” form of financial abuse is tougher to identify, and if a woman’s husband is the sole breadwinner, might even be occurring without her even knowing! Many times it is a simple lack of curiosity or understanding of the couple’s fiscal situation, and every time it stems from a lack of communication.
Ask yourself: Do I really know what our family’s financial situation is? Do I have access to all the information on our bank accounts/credit cards/mortgage? What is our family’s fiscal plan for the next 5/10/15 years?
If you can’t answer any of these questions, you should take time to speak with your partner, and understand what’s going on. Women need to feel comfortable and empowered enough to be honest and forthright with significant others, and should expect the same from them. The most important factor in avoiding financial abuse is communication; the silent treatment doesn’t work in these situations, and ignorance of your family’s financial status cannot be an excuse!
How Allstate is helping
Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is making it fashionable to talk about domestic violence and the financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships. The program ignites fundraising for more than 140 national, state and local domestic violence organizations. Funds raised will support life-changing financial empowerment services to help domestic violence survivors build safer lives for themselves and their families. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to break the cycle of violence in our nation – one family at a time.
To turn any purse into a Purple Purse, The Allstate Foundation is widely distributing charms so you can show your support and attach to your favorite bag year round. They are being distributed with inspiring survivor stories through Purple Purse Challenge participants and Allstate agency owners.
How YOU can help
To help ensure domestic violence survivors – likely someone you know – aren’t financially trapped in an abusive relationship, join the Purple Purse Challenge. Open your heart and wallet to stand up for survivors and the organizations that serve them at PurplePurse.com.
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported hundreds of thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a blogger and maternal health advocate at MommysBundle.com.