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What the Heck is "Economic Abuse"?-Allstate Foundation Blogger Initiative

Okay normally I would have chucked this email in the ole' annoying publicist email trash can of doom, but I am always surprised when publicists A) bother to address me by name (you'd be surprised how many do not in their mass emails and b) actually send me an email promoting something that my audience is interested in.

Today, June 30th, the Allstate Foundation is attempting to raise awareness of "Economic Abuse." We're all familiar with economic abuse already, we just didn't give it a name. Its basically where an abuser controls you through finances.

As a child I remember quite clearly that my Mama had "HER" own credit union account :) She even took us to credit union meetings. The parental unit also had the joint banking account, but I think without intending to, she basically taught us to have a bank account that was OURs even when we got married. From the Allstate Foundation:
Economic abuse is a tactic commonly used by abusers to control their victims’ finances and
prevent them from leaving a dangerous relationship. However, the survey also revealed nearly
eight out of 10 Americans link economic abuse to Wall Street woes or irresponsible spending.
“Many people associate domestic violence with physical cuts and bruises, but bruises on your
credit score and being cut off from access to money, create lasting scars that make it hard, if not
impossible, for abuse victims to recover,” said Jennifer Kuhn, manager of the Economics
Against Abuse Program at The Allstate Foundation. “For victims of domestic violence,
economic abuse is much more personal - and dangerous.”
To better educate Americans about this often overlooked aspect of domestic violence, The
Allstate Foundation provides the following signs to recognize economic abuse:
• Taking money, credit card or property from a partner without their permission
• Racking up debt without a partner’s knowledge
• Purposely ruining a partner’s credit score
• Forbidding a partner from earning money or attending school
• Being forced by a partner to hand over paychecks
• Cancelling insurance or credit cards without the partner’s knowledge
• Harassing a partner at work to negatively impact a job
“A downturn in the economy impacts us all, but it disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable
members of society, including domestic violence survivors,” said Rene Renick, director of
program and operations at The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). “Now
more than ever it’s important that domestic violence survivors build economic skills to overcome
financial instability, a major barrier to escape and stay out of an abusive situation.”
The Allstate Foundation, in partnership with NNEDV, recently developed a Financial
Empowerment Curriculum to help victims achieve financial independence. The Financial
Empowerment Curriculum includes financial tools and information designed to enable survivors
of domestic abuse to fully understand their financial circumstances, as well as engage in shortterm
and long-term
planning (e.g., budgeting tools, step-by-step planners, tips, etc.) to accomplish their personal
“Our goal is to raise awareness about how economic empowerment can lead to a safe and
financially secure future,” said Kuhn. “With resources like the Financial Empowerment
Curriculum, we’re providing tools to domestic violence survivors and others who may need
financial guidance in these tough economic times.”
The user-friendly curriculum is available in a variety of formats, including hard copy, Spanishlanguage,
DVD and downloadable versions at www.ClickToEmpower.org. Also available are elearning
modules to help people of all incomes and earning power work toward long-term
economic empowerment.
Other national survey findings include:
• More than three-quarters of Americans (76 percent) believe the poor economy has made
it more difficult for victims of domestic violence, and two-thirds (66 percent) believe it has
caused an increase in domestic violence.
• 44 percent say the most difficult barrier to leaving an abusive relationship is financial
• Almost 60 percent of Americans don’t see a connection between harassing a partner at
work and economic abuse, even if it may cost the victim their job and ultimately limiting
About the National Poll
The Allstate Foundation “Crisis: Economics and Domestic Violence” poll was a nationwide
telephone survey of 708 Americans conducted in May 2009 by Murphy Marketing Research.
The survey sample was generated by random digit dialing and represents a margin of error of
+/- 3.7 percentage points. The survey sample was designed to closely mirror the breakdown of
the current U.S. population with 10 percent African-American and 10 percent Hispanic
respondents. For the full survey results, please visit www.ClickToEmpower.org.

You should consider reading the entire study.

Reader Comments (10)

Thanks so much Gina. I sent your blog post to my Sigma Gamma Rho sorors, other sistalove/brothalove friends, and family members. I will post it on BAP Living too. Many blessings.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnanda Leeke

Been there. Great link Gina. I'm going to forward this to a friend.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaJane Galt

Gina Thank you for posting and your parental unit set a great example for you!

The recent Clark Rockerfeller parental kidnapping case in Boston did include economic abuse by the kidnapper, Clark Rockerfeller towards his wife, a woman who earned big bankroll, while married.

Keep up the great work of uncovering injustice and abuse.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWanna Twinkie

If this helps just one person....

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

Long time reader and lurker...

Gina, thanks for posting this! I get so tired of hearing "people" ask, "why doesn't the woman just leave?" They don't understand that abusers know how to control a lot of things, including money/finances that prevent women from getting out of abusive relationships. The victims have no family support and no money, and often they have young children. So, they have no choice but to stay or either have their children on the street.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTamara

Yep, this is so evident these days. I also, noticed this to be true with fathers who are paying child support. Many of them get so fustrated that they tend to be physically and verbally abusive.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLD

Allstate, I'm so impressed! Not only is this an important initiative, but when marketers actually take the time to get to know the audiences of the bloggers they reach out to they're already one step ahead. This message is perfect for the WAOD audience. And now, I'm going to blog it about for my readers because I know they'd be interested to learn about this, too.

Marketers take heed. This is how it's done.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFelicia (aka Mommy B)

My mother, grandmother and aunts all preached the doctorine of Blessing Yourself With Your Own Cash!

This is a good piece of information Gina. I will certainly pass it on to my sista/friends. I'm sure that there is someone we know who can use this information.

July 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermsladydeborah

I hate FICO.

July 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAttorneymom

As the economy continues to deteriorate, this might become more of a problem not only for women but the elderly and teens establishing credit. Be watchful and wise! For the elderly, check out http://www.calbankers.com/content/governmentandlegalaffairs_elderabusetrainingmaterials.asp.

July 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMildred

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