1 in 4 women experiences domestic violence in the United States. 99% of those cases also include financial abuse.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse is the act of controlling a victim’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain financial resources. Those who are abused financially may be manipulated and sabotaged and thereby prevented from working. Victims of financial abuse may also have restricted access to their own money or bank accounts or the funds stolen by the abuser. When they do have money, they often have to account for every penny they spend.
Recognizing the Signs of Financial Abuse
I have written extensively about financial abuse because it is also present in domestic violence. According to Allstate Financial, 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in the United States. 99% of those cases also includes financial abuse. Finance abuse is one of the main reasons why victims are unable to leave an abusive partner or have to return to one – because they usually control the finances to ensure that their victims can’t leave or have to return to them.
Key signs of financial abuse are controlling credit cards and lines of credit, undermining all financial decisions, and scrutinizing all purchases even minute ones. Also present are sabotage – in terms of finding a job and empowering yourself. Through my book Holistic Wealth, and in various articles, I have emphasized that women need to remember the 2Rs – Financial Resilience and Financial Resourcefulness – and also embracing their own financial identity in order to be confident in their money decisions.
Video Explanation of Financial Abuse
In this video below I share some tips to recognize financial abuse as well as strategies to overcome it.
Strategies To Overcome Financial Abuse
Equally as important as educating women about recognizing the signs of financial abuse is giving them the skills to protect themselves from it. This is why the messages and strategies outlined in my new book, Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity and Happiness, are so important to teach women how to create an empowered financial identity that protects them from abuse, boosts their confidence and leads to improved mental, emotional and spiritual health. A key part of this strategy is embracing a “Holistic Wealth Mindset™,” and this stems from the “Holistic Wealth Method™,” which I’ve also developed.
1. Embrace the Holistic Wealth Method™
The “Holistic Wealth Method” is a framework I developed for assessing your actions and decisions. In applying the Holistic Wealth Method ask yourself: Will this decision be a withdrawal from or a deposit to my holistic wealth bank account? Approaching life with a holistic wealth mindset means approaching life mindfully and with the
and decisions. In applying the Holistic Wealth Method™ ask yourself: Will this decision be a withdrawal from or a deposit to my holistic wealth bank account? Approaching life with a holistic wealth mindset means approaching life mindfully and with the realization that each decision and each action represents a withdrawal from or deposit to that holistic wealth bank account. Repeated withdrawals from the holistic wealth bank account will lead to bankruptcy.
2. Develop Your Own Financial Identity
Developing your own financial identity is one of the core concepts of living a holistically wealthy life. Having your own financial identity can also help you overcome financial abuse because it gives you the confidence to make your own financial decisions. A critical part of that is also becoming financially independent. There are several strategies to get you to a place where you have enough income to pay your living expenses for the rest of your life without having to depend on anyone else. Whether this means retiring by the age of 55 or taking a more traditional route, building your financial portfolio depends on having your own financial identity.
Financial Empowerment for Women
Empowering women and girls is critical to preventing financial abuse. Gender-based violence is rooted in gender inequality. Violence against women and women’s economic security are highly-interlined. According to WomenAct, “abuse often results in economic costs for survivors, including health costs, lost wages, and relocation expenses. Survivors can experience long term economic consequences that make it difficult to rebuild economic security and resilience, including barriers such as debt, poor credit, housing instability and a diminished ability to work”. Initiatives that enable increased pay equity to boost women’s access to resources as well as supports, including counseling, will be effective.
Video on Financial Empowerment for Women
Keisha Blair is the world’s foremost expert on Holistic Wealth and bestselling author of Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons To Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity and Happiness, and the Holistic Wealth Workbook: 32 Life Lessons To Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity, and Happiness.
For more information visit www.keishablair.com