In October of 2007, HELP of Door County, Inc. in collaboration with the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Task Force on Family Violence in Milwaukee, received a grant from the Allstate Foundation that would provide our agency with the opportunity to share a financial empowerment curriculum with our clients.
Each year millions of individuals are economically abused by their partners, yet this type of abuse is generally ignored and not understood. Economic abuse include such behaviors as preventing a partner from getting or keeping a job, making the partner ask for money or giving them an allowance, taking money from the partner, not giving the partner access to account information and hiding financial information. Survivors of economic abuse may flee an abusive relationship financially illiterate, not knowing how to survive on their own. Additionally many survivors, when on their own, struggle from day to day trying to financially survive with very limited resources.
The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program’s financial empowerment curriculum includes financial tools and information that enable survivors of domestic abuse to (1) fully understand their financial circumstances, and (2) engage in short-term and long-term planning to accomplish their personal goals. The curriculum provides:
• Ways to locate and access local, state and national personal safety and financial resources
• Information on how to protect personal and financial safety in-crisis and post-crisis
• Strategies for dealing with the misuse of financial records
• Tools to help people of all incomes and earning power work toward long-term economic empowerment
Domestic violence survivors deserve access to housing, jobs and economic resources for themselves and their families, whether they leave abusive relationships or remain in them. This curriculum recognizes that each survivor is the most-informed expert on her individual experience, and is able to make appropriate decisions, if she has the information she needs.
Every strategy, safety-planning tip and story within the curriculum is designed to help survivors navigate the complex challenges they will encounter. It informs them of possible choices and helps them locate assistance.
The curriculum also identifies community resources to help domestic violence survivors build financially independent lives. This may include domestic violence programs that partner with employment agencies, workforce development programs and professional associations to help survivors enhance their skills, find jobs, build careers and explore opportunities within nontraditional job markets, as well as community organizations that work with local banks and foundations to create accounts to help survivors save money for education, to develop a business or to buy a home.
Whether a survivor of domestic violence is struggling to eat, find a safe place to live, hold a job, achieve academic goals, support children or other family members, seek asylum from cruelty, rebuild their life after an identity change, protect assets or overcome identity theft, the Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum provided to HELP of Door County, Inc. from the Allstate Foundation can help. Contact HELP at 920.743.8818 or 1.800.91.HELP.1.
Please visit http://www.clicktoempower.org. For every click received, Allstate will donate $1 to the Education and Job Training Assistance fund to help victims of domestic violence.
The Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence Team (CCR) is committed to the prevention of domestic violence by coordinating a consistent message and response to domestic violence. It is also dedicated to promoting cooperation, coordination, communication, and education among the criminal justice and other community systems with service providers, thus creating a safe community environment for victims of abuse, ensuring that abusers are held accountable for their behavior and decreasing the tolerance for violence in the community. Printed above is a column from CCR to promote education within the Door County community.