Domestic Violence is a scary and much avoided topic. The first thing to recognize is that domestic violence is not a gender specific form of abuse. Men and women alike are able to fall victim to domestic violence. However, when trapped in an abusive relationship, it is hard for the abused spouse to comprehend leaving. There are so many risks, and the planning seems unbearable. Without planning there will never be an end to the situation, and there is one thing that often stops individuals from leaving these abusive relationships. Money.
Money is the most important asset for a person to have when trying to escape an abusive relationship; it is the most important thing and often the hardest to attain. There are several ways for a person to hide away money from a partner who is controlling with money. These tactics that will be discussed should only be done if it is safe for the abused partner to do so. Getting individual bank accounts: if this is possible, open an account and keep your account entirely online. Another option for this is having the statements delivered to a trusted family member’s home. Use places in the home to hide cash where the partner is not likely to look or search. Women could use a make-up box, a tampon box, or a jewelry box to hide the money. Men could use a toolbox, a tackle box, or a videogame box. When shopping, be sure to purchase things without coupons, and purchase items that are not necessarily needed. Once the spouse/partner sees the receipt, return the unwanted items, and use the coupons to get cash back. Once you get this cash, it is best to store it in the safe places that we mentioned above.
The second most important thing is to remember that it is essential for you to take all important documentation with you when you go. This may include birth certificate, social security card, identification cards, any stashed money, and any type of medical info that you might need. It is good practice to keep these items in a handy location in order to ensure that you will be successful in leaving. Try keeping a “to-go” bag somewhere hidden with clothes and other essentials in it in a nearby place. Once you are able to leave, if you have access to any bank account, drain it and use the money to help you get as far away from the situation as possible. You are NEVER out of options. Shelters will provide food, shelter, and help with jobs and housing. If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship please call a domestic violence counselor to help plan your future at the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center at 216-391-4357.