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Having a financial strategy key to domestic abuse victims

A person's financial situation is one of the biggest factors when it comes to leaving an abusive relationship. This makes having a strong financial strategy important for the one in four women who will face domestic violence. Florida victims should also be aware of the laws surrounding domestic violence to help them make better legal decisions and to stay safe.

People who decide to leave an abusive relationship should do their best to secure their financial records. This includes credit card bills, other bills and personal records like birth certificates. Like someone who is getting a divorce, a person who is finding a way out of an abusive relationship should obtain a good understanding of his or her financial documents, including insurance policies and mortgages.

A representative from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Tallahassee says that domestic violence victims should call a hotline to speak with an advocate or visit a domestic violence center in their area before doing anything else. Every person's situation is different and will require different advice.

She also said that women still living with an abuser should wait to block them from accounts for fear of further physical abuse or emotional abuse. Afterward, however, changing bank passwords or pin codes and securing all financial records is important. The Insurance Information Institute recommends giving these documents to a trusted friend or family member or getting a safe deposit box in a bank to make sure they are stored safely.

Successfully protecting victims from abusers involves many steps. These cases often involve both criminal and civil law. Having a full understanding of their legal rights can provide victims with important legal protection as well.

Source: Sun Herald, "Domestic abuse victims need to have a financial strategy," Susan Salisbury, Oct. 31, 2012

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