Sarah Ford | April 8, 2015

The Lasting Negative Effects Financial Abuse Has on Women

NORTHBROOK, Ill., April 7, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Financial abuse is a tactic used by abusers in ninety-eight percent of domestic violence situations and its effects are often life-altering. However, in a recent survey from The Allstate Foundation, just three percent of Americans ranked financial abuse as most likely to cause long-term effects, far behind emotional (43 percent) and physical abuse (22 percent).

Financial abuse is in fact devastating for women. It is the number one reason why women stay in or return to abusive relationships. It is common for abusers to destroy victims’ credit, deny them access to money, and force them to quit their jobs or to decline promotions. Without resources of their own, victims are often unable to care for themselves, find employment and housing, or save for the future. Those who manage to leave their abusers can find themselves debt-ridden, lacking necessary job skills, and even at risk for homelessness.

The national survey, Silent Weapon, polled 1,220 American adults age 18+ about domestic violence and financial abuse. Additional survey data finds that Americans are not well-informed on the issue:

  • More than 40 percent say they don’t understand financial abuse.
  • Two percent ranked financial abuse as the least common form of abuse.
  • Only 13 percent believe that financial abuse can happen to people they know.
  • Four percent believe that financial abuse harms victims’ children.

“Any woman can become a victim of financial abuse, regardless of economic or social status,” said John Rugel, senior vice president, life customer fulfillment and underwriting at Allstate. “It’s incredibly important that we are aware of the significant challenges that face women in abusive relationships, and that we create a culture where women feel safe to come forward and get help.” 

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