Financial Abuse is a Form of Domestic Violence

WeddingI’m really excited about a groundbreaking project—The Allstate Foundations Domestic Violence Program. They’ve hired me as their spokesperson.

For the first time, a large corporation is addressing an issue on a national level that no one’s talking about—Financial Abuse.

We tend to think of domestic violence as physical, emotional, and verbal. Yet financial abuse is just as insidious and dangerous….perhaps even more so because we don’t recognize it.

For years, I was the victim of financial abuse. And I had no idea. The signs were there. I just didn’t see them.

For example: My husband controlled the amount of money I had access to. He refused to discuss our finances with me, and withheld important information and documents. He got us into illegal deals, “forgot” to pay taxes that were in my name, racked up a huge debt, then left the country, so I was left holding the bag! I was so embarrassed and ashamed of my ignorance, I told no one what was going on.

According to a recent poll by The Allstate Foundation, the number one reason victims stay with their abusers is financial instability. So The Allstate Foundation is doing something about this horrific problem. Aside from raising public awareness and thought leadership, they’ve created 2 amazing programs:

  • A financial education curriculum designed especially for advocates and survivors of domestic abuse.
  • An Education and Job Training Fund that provides women with immediate grants for finding work or improving their skills.

You can find out more on If you are in immediate danger, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233) .

Please spread the word. According to a 2006 Allstate Foundation national poll, over 74% of us know someone who is the victim of domestic violence. Now you can help.

Filed under: News & Updates

Comments & Feedback

  • Susan

    This was my story, too! Except that I started handling the bills, insisted on paying off the outstanding debts (using his credit report for information), and planning for retirement. A year after the debts were paid off, I opened what I though was our bank statement which showed he had started up his “secret spending” again. We went to counseling 14 months before I got fed up and divorced him-and all this time, I was entirely financially dependent after a long term, chronic and disabling illness. Several years later, I am still struggling to support myself although it has taken this long to return to good physical health.

  • barbarastanny

    I appreciate your comment, Susan, and I’m really pleased to hear you’re back in good health. Now it’s time to get back into good financial health as well. I would encourage you to check out Allstate’s financial empowerment ciriculum. It’s really awesome.

  • Debbie

    I am also struggling with a husband who insists on running up credit cards, spending his paycheck before bills are paid, and writing checks and not telling me about them which creates bounced bill checks. I am at my wits end, and see a miserable financial future for us unless he changes, or I leave. I need hope!!

  • Eileen

    After battling, to the point of needing to be on disability, a major depression, directly related to my abusive husband, I am finally coming out of the fog and seeing my life as it lead into deep depression and despair. I find myself now strong enough to see that in addition to other types of abuse, from the moment we married 5 years ago, he has exerted total control financially. I am not privy to any of “our” financial information, as “our” money immediately became HIS money after our marriage. In addition, he is addicted to gambling, leaving me in constant uncertainty about what our financial stability really is. I receive “an allowance”…he took my credit card away in the past year, in order to have full control over our resources (I am not a shop-a-holic!) while continuing to gamble whenever he chooses. I am still here because I have lost the self confidence that I can make it on my own with my 13 year old daughter (no child support from her bioDad) yet I KNOW I have to get out of this situation. I came upon this site “by accident” and now wonder if God has led me here…may Allstate receive a hundred fold in blessings of all kinds by offering much needed help to financially abused women.

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  • Thanks for posting Staci…I loved your interest. What more info would you like to see about this subject? I’m really interested to know….

  • Jamie

    It’s wonderful to see this. I experienced this, too, in the last few years of a long marriage (ended in 2008), and it was quite a turnaround from my previous experience. I’d long been the primary earner and ‘rain maker’; in fact, I’d had a knack for finding opportunities and ‘making money’ since I was a kid. Then, after a couple of difficult circumstances (an accident while traveling, lingering health issues), I had to rely on my then husband and business partner. Over several years, it was like chip-chip-chip away, and I found out that what had been really happening was quite different from the ‘updates’ I received – he’d wracked up significant debt, spontaneously ended consulting gigs (and thus the revenues), and had channeled his revenues outside of the business. After the divorce, I was left with very bruised confidence, fatigue, and pretty hefty debt. In the last few years, I’ve slowly repaired my confidence, gathered back my energy and pearls of wisdom, and managed to keep the bills paid. Now I’m encouraged by your “Sweet Surrender” article, Barbara — feeling that this ‘lull’ comes just before the next breakthrough. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing – it’s so important for other women in these situations to know that it’s not just them!

  • Thank You so much for posting, Jamie…I’m impressed with your strength and determination. I suspect you’ll be an inspiration to many other women…in fact, I know it. Enjoy the lull. I’d be interested to keep up with your journey! Again, thanks so much for your poignant comments.

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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