This post was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Since I was a little girl, when boys still had cooties, my gram has been drilling financial empowerment messages into my thick skull. “Pay yourself first!” and “Always have a private savings account…just in case.” I was just trying to play with my Barbie dolls in peace and gram was up there trying to keep me safe from some future financial abuser. Hey, I appreciate the message. It stuck with me. Gram drilled that message into me and my one female cousin as well because she learned the hard way. She was able to leave an abusive situation (with six kids in tow, mind you) safely. Now she’s a great-grandmother, and I bet she already whispers to Kaya to keep some secret money aside even though she’s only three.
It’s an important lesson to learn. You always hear stories of women who are left broke and heartbroken after a divorce when the husband controlled all the money, and the wife didn’t work. Thanks to gram, I will never be in that situation. John knows I have separate money, and he completely understands. One of his close family members recently was in a situation where she married someone older who made a great salary. After their children reached school-age, she told him she wanted to go back to school so she could then work and he forbade it! Luckily, after a while, she snuck and did it anyway. #girlpower!
My good friend recently admitted to me the situation she was in financially. It was a big surprise to me because they both drive luxury cars, and appear to be the Jones’ that other people try to keep up with. She admitted to me that they were in deep debt (6 figures yall) and she started hiding money away because she wanted to leave and she had nothing in her name and she hasn’t worked since we were about 20, thanks to hubby.
We don’t talk about this enough. Discussing money is taboo. Discussing abuse is taboo. We need to start speaking more openly about this pervasive form of abuse. We always hear some dimwit say “Why don’t they just leave?” as if it’s just that simple to escape an abusive situation. And go where? With what resources? And will they be safe when they leave? It must be in the domestic abuser handbook to ensure your prey is left feeling trapped with you.
I’ll admit, before I learned what emotional abuse and financial abuse was, I thought domestic abuse just meant getting slapped around. Talking about these things may be embarrassing at first, but everyone has a story, and despite the specifics in the situation, everyone can relate to some extent. One in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is working to help end domestic violence and financial abuse through financial empowerment. In most cases, with abusive relationships, financial abuse is the number one reason victims stay (or return).
My heart goes out to every woman who is feeling trapped due to being financially bound to their abuser. It is heartbreaking. FYI, 99% of all domestic violence cases involve financial abuse.