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BHNI is the Bridge of Hope

BHNI offers guidance to help victims face the difficult environment of domestic abuse and domestic violence.

What is domestic violence? What are the types of domestic violence?

Domestic violence (DV) -- also called dating violence, intimate partner abuse, spousal abuse, intimate partner violence (IPV), and domestic abuse -- takes many forms. Maltreatment that takes place in the context of any romantic relationship is abuse as described by the above specific terms. It therefore affects men, women, or teen girls and boys, whether in a married or unmarried heterosexual or homosexual relationship. Intimate partner violence may consist of one or more forms, including emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, or economic abuse and is defined as one person in an intimate relationship using any means to put down or otherwise control the other. Types of domestic abuse include physical, verbal (also called emotional, mental, or psychological abuse), sexual, economic/financial, and spiritual abuse. Stalking and cyber-stalking are also forms of intimate partner abuse

Money Can Make a Difference

One in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in her life, and 99% of victims will also suffer financial abuse. Abusers use financial control, isolation, and intimidation to keep their victims trapped. In fact, financial obstacles and financial dependence are primary reasons that many women stay in abusive relationships, especially if they have children. Almost every aspect of leaving an abusive situation involves money, like filling the car with gas, buying a bus or plane ticket, finding a new place to live, and putting food on the table.

TAKE ACTION

5 Steps to Empower Yourself Financially

What can you do if this is happening to you? Consider the following steps to help protect your money and financial future.

1. Learn How Money Works

Unfortunately, we aren’t taught basic financial principles in school, and sadly, many women stay in abusive relationships because of money. You don’t have to be a financial professional to learn how to become financially free, build a savings, learn about basic investment strategies or how to make your money grow. There are many books and online resources that can help you get started.

2. Be Involved With Your Finances

Frequently, one person in a couple knows everything about the financial picture while the other person is totally in the dark. Even in  healthy relationships, it is imperative that both parties know exactly what is going on.  This also helps protect you from becoming a victim of financial abuse if things ever take a turn for the worst.

3. Look for Red Flags

Common signs of financial abuse include: the abuser drains the bank account, denies or limits access to money and information about money, hides assets, demands a detailed accounting of how money is spent, criticizes financial decisions, threatens to withhold money, forces the victim to miss or be late for work, belittles the victim’s work of academic accomplishments.

4. Talk About The Problem

Many women want to stay quiet and not let others find out about what they are going through. This makes things worse, not better. Women need to come together and speak out because your story and the steps you took to regain your financial footing could be exactly what can help another woman during this difficult time in her life. 

5. Put a Plan Together

Almost every aspect of leaving an abusive situation involves money. Even after they leave, many victims carry the burden of bad credit, judgement liens, bankruptcies and back taxes for years. This is why it is crucial to have an individual financial safety plan in place that can carry you at least six months and help pay bills, rent, food and other expenses.

We will help you connect with organizatoons that can give the support needed.

Resources:

National DV Hotline

1-800-799-7233

DC Victim Services 24-Hour Hotline at 1-844-443-5732.

My Sister's Place at (202) 529-5261.

Texas Domestic Violence Hotlime

800-799-SAFE (7233) 24-Hour  

Florida Domestic Violence Hotline

800-500-1119

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