Research indicates that financial abuse is experienced in 98% of abusive relationships and surveys of survivors reflect that concerns over their ability to provide financially for themselves and their children was one of the top reason for staying in or returning to a battering relationship.
Since 2009 the member programs of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence have used the Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum, developed by the Allstate Foundation to foster economic empowerment for survivors through education and support. By donating to NHCADSV's Purple Purse Challenge, you will help support this critical work.
The AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program (AVAP) is a program of the Coalition which places advocates at crisis centers, criminal justice sites, college campuses and other locations where they can provide front line services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Each of the members have made economic empowerment with survivors of domestic violence a central part of their work. Through the reflections which are written monthly by these members about their experiences, we are starting to see the direct impact that financial education and support is having on the victims they work with. Here are just a few examples written by AVAP members:
- “The shelter has been full for pretty much the whole summer. We have a great team and we've really been focused on empowering the women in shelter to help them move forward independently and help them heal. People have been coming in, applying for transitional housing, and moving out within 1-2 months, which is truly amazing. We are working with residents on the financial curriculum, which I have added a packet on goals and a daily spending sheet. I am also going to be putting together an shelter binder with financial information for residents.”
- “Right now I am working with a woman to help her budget, open a bank account and apply for housing. She sets her own goals and I brainstorm with her about how to get there and help her stay on track. It is rewarding because I know she is building a better life for herself and will be better prepared to exit shelter someday.”
- “The past month the shelter staff has been working very hard along with the residents to help them get to where they want to be. We have 3 families that have been here since the summer that are all moving into their own places within the next month. One of the women has four young children and is doing everything on her own. She is truly so strong and resilient. All 3 of them were with men who abused them financially, so it's been all about getting them back on track financially through the CAP agency, city welfare and other various local resources. We use the financial curriculum's 5 modules and the financial knowledge assessment to help with restoring their financial independence. The women really appreciate learning about financial abuse and knowing that they are not alone.”
- “It is so rewarding to help someone realize what resources and connections they already have available to them; many times our clients have already taken significant steps to maintain their safety, privacy and financial security without fully realizing how important those steps were to their safety plan. I was discussing financial safety planning with a client this week and I was so glad about how many of the steps of the Allstate curriculum she had taken before we ever discussed it. We were able to come up with a realistic outline of what leaving would look like that involved keeping her important papers at her mother’s house, and severing economic ties with her husband; There are aspects of her situation that are tricky and scary of course, but I knew she was so relieved to have a concrete plan in place - that she herself had put into action.”
We're hiring! For more information on the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program and how you can be a part of it please email April@nhcadsv.org or visit AVAP's webpage.
AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program
New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Allstate Foundation Click to Empower's Moving Ahead Through Financial Management
The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Program