One out of every four women will experience violence at the hands of a boyfriend, husband, partner, or family member during their lifetime. Not being able to afford an apartment, find a job, provide food and clothing for their children, make enough money to pay bills, pay off loans and credit cards, finish school, and find dependable child care and transportation are some of the many reasons women find themselves financially trapped in an abusive relationship.
Financial abuse includes:
- Calling or showing up at your work and causing problems
- Threatening family and co-workers
- Physically abusing you before a scheduled job interview
- Keeping you up all night before a big test or paper is due
- Sexually harassing or forcing sex on you when you are trying to study
- Destroying your homework or work product
- Refusing to take care of the children or abusing them in your absence
- Refusing to give you a ride or disabling the car
- Spending all the money and/or lying about household finances
- Hiding financial documents such as bank statements, deeds, leases, and other documents that exclude you as a legal partner
- Stealing your identity, putting credit cards, loans, utilities or other debt in your name
- Destroying your clothing
Economic Advocacy and Transitional Housing
The Economic Advocacy Project of the Women’s Resource Center seeks to develop expertise in responding to the housing and economic justice needs of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence by:
- Developing partnerships with community organizations and institutions with expertise in the economic and housing arenas. Specifically, the development of employment options that provide a sustainable income, education and career-training options, legal options, transportation, child care, and access to safe and affordable housing.
- Engaging in systems advocacy initiatives and educational activities that address the economic and housing barriers survivors experience when attempting to flee or stay out of an abusive relationship.
- Creating forums for survivor input and association.
Recognizing that housing is the gateway for survivors to address their economic safety needs, the Transitional Housing Program is the primary component of the Project serving survivors who are fleeing domestic/sexual violence or homeless due to the violence and for whom WRC’s safe house and other services are unavailable or insufficient.
The purpose of the Transitional Housing Program is to create the possibility for program participants to:
- Secure safe affordable, permanent housing while residing in WRC’s transitional housing for up to 24 months with six months of follow-up assistance.
- Develop and carry out individualized goal plans that address employment, education or skills training, suitable child care, transportation, consumer/debt issues, asset building and other identified needs.
- Attend regularly scheduled informational meetings at the WRC and in the community to gain knowledge of financial options and resources.
- Assess and strategize for their legal needs through accompaniment, advocacy, consultation and representation from Justice Center attorneys and WRC legal advocates.
- Increase leadership skills through membership and participation in the Transitional Housing Advisory Council after moving into permanent housing.
- Access WRC’s services and participate in ongoing safety planning and risk assessment.