April is Financial Literacy Month
Financial literacy is a key element in empowering a survivor of domestic violence and helping them build a life apart from their abuser.
One in 4 women experience domestic violence in the United States, and nearly all of those cases include financial abuse. This is one of the primary reasons why victims are unable to leave an abusive partner or have to return to one.
Financial abuse includes any behavior that maintains power and control over finances in an intimate partner relationship. These behaviors can both directly and indirectly impact someone’s finances, and they generally have to do with causing a partner to lose their job.
Examples include controlling financial assets and effectively putting a partner on an allowance; inflicting physical harm or injury that would prevent the person from attending work; harassing a partner at their workplace; damaging a partner’s credit score; and forcing someone to quit their job. Financial abuse is scary, and 99% of survivors have experienced it.
Financial literacy is a critical tool for survivors trying to leave an abusive partner. The Retreat’s Take Charge! program focuses on financial education, creditworthiness, job searches and job readiness, literacy, educational opportunities, and other “moving forward” programs for residential and outreach clients to move them to financial wellness.
The program informs clients with the help of financial, educational, career, nutrition, and housing experts. Recent partners include Dime Bank, The Allstate Foundation, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, GreenPath Financial Wellness, Bright Horizons, and Eastern Suffolk BOCES.
Economic empowerment means having control over one’s financial future and ultimately their own life. The Retreat proudly celebrates Financial Literacy Month!