This post was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Imagine a life in which someone else forcibly controls your finances, usually through intimidation or other illegal means. This is what is known as financial abuse, and it is more common than you may think. Financial abuse often goes hand in hand with physical abuse, as it occurs in 99% of domestic violence cases, making it harder for victims to escape their abuser. The amount of courage it takes to get out of an abusive situation is immeasurable. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to help end domestic violence and financial abuse through financial empowerment, and we all can help. I was once a victim, so this issue hits close to home.
In my early twenties, I thought my first serious relationship was what fairytales are made of. A smart, respectful guy with ambition who appeared so attentive and concerned with my well-being. It wasn’t long before I realized that attention and concern had turned into jealousy and a power play for control of where I went, what I did and how I thought. He wanted to own me. It started with mental abuse and intimidation. Then a push and shove here, a stern grab there. When he saw that I was standing up for myself more and more, he tried to trap me by controlling my finances. He wanted my bank statements, receipts for transactions and withdrew funds leaving me enough for specific errands such as grocery shopping. Eventually, he permanently withheld my debit card from me, and I was provided small amounts of cash only after giving detailed explanations of how I intended to use the money. I ended up escaping that relationship by having my parents and brother pick me up one day after he left for work. I canceled direct deposit and used my next check to open a new account at a different bank. In the end, I left the state and began the process of rebuilding my confidence and regaining control of my life. I got out because I had family near and far to help get me back on my feet. I am one of the lucky ones.
The abusive situation I was in could have been much worse. So many victims do not know what to do and feel they cannot escape because financial abuse limits their ability to obtain food, shelter or transportation. Financial abuse is the number one reason victims stay in abusive relationships or return to them. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse drives fundraising for various local, state and national nonprofits. These nonprofits provide crucial financial empowerment tools and resources to survivors of domestic violence. I hope you will join me in supporting these efforts by visiting PurplePurse.com and donating today. You can learn more about the foundation and find helpful resources on the website.