Financial abuse occurs in 98% of abusive relationships. It often starts from a place of trust that allows an abuser to gain sole control of the couple’s finances. This can quickly spiral into a crisis situation, where a victim has no knowledge of or input into how money is spent and no access to family accounts – or even to her own paycheck. Just as often, an abuser uses his access to a victim’s personal information to obtain credit cards and loans in her name without her knowledge. These actions can have devastating effects on the victim’s finances. While physical, emotional, and other forms of abuse may motivate a domestic violence victim to leave her abuser, research shows that the inability to support herself and her children due to financial abuse is one of the top reasons why victims remain in or return to abusive relationships.

For more information on financial abuse, please visit www.nylag.org/AbuseIsAbuse. The availability of free legal assistance for victims of financial abuse is extremely limited. The few nonprofit agencies that focus on legal services for victims of domestic violence, including NYLAG, specialize in helping victims secure orders of protection, child support, custody, and divorce — provided by attorneys trained in Matrimonial & Family Law. These attorneys, while critical to stabilizing a victim’s situation, are not able to resolve the often intertwined financial issues. With your support, we can confront financial abuse head on.

NYLAG’s Stop Financial Abuse Project will employ attorneys trained in complex areas of consumer, financial, housing and employment law who will help victims repair the damage caused by their abusers and take proactive steps to establish economic security. This will include ending harassment by debt collectors through negotiations and, when necessary, representation in court to reduce or erase debt; fighting landlord and employment discrimination; and repairing credit destroyed by an abuser. Visit the campaign page here: http://www.crowdrise.com/financialabuse. Share this campaign to help raise awareness of the reality of financial abuse. Our goal is to help 100 women in one year, at a cost of $500 per case. Donate now and join us in the fight to end ALL forms of abuse against women. $500 will change one woman’s story.