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Overcoming domestic financial abuse

Those in Los Angeles who have not experienced domestic violence often find it difficult to understand why breaking away from such abuse is so hard. Many of the abuse victims that we here at the Thomas Law Offices have worked with report hearing the same question over and over: "Why don't you just leave?" If you are currently suffering through domestic abuse, you know that leaving is not that easy. 

For many domestic abusers, their actions are primarily motivated by control. This is why domestic violence often goes beyond physical abuse. Statistics shared by the Allstate Foundation show that financial abuse is also prevalent in 99 percent of domestic violence cases. If your spouse handles all of your financial matters (including your access to cash and credit cards), then you may rightly feel as though you have no choice but to stay. 

There are, however, steps that you can take that will help ensure you will have access to funds were you to try and escape from your abusive spouse. These include: 

  • Setting money aside in secret: This may be difficult if your spouse monitors the income you have coming in. Thus, secretly reserved money may include cash gifts, extra money reserved from your grocery budget, or even a credit card (in your name only). 
  • Opening your own bank account: Using a P.O. Box or a loved one's address may keep your spouse from discovering its existence. 
  • Make copies of all important financial documents: This will allow you to show how your spouse restricts your funds should he or she destroy your financial records. 
  • Contact an advocate: This can be a counselor or an attorney that can help you find financial resources to assist with your escape.

More information on escaping domestic violence can be found here on our site. 

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