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Financial abuse can be a form of domestic violence

The family next door appears to be an average, loving family. However, no one really knows what goes on behind those closed doors. Unfortunately, for some California families, appearances are deceiving. What appears on the surface to be a loving family is actually one embroiled in domestic violence.

When one thinks of domestic violence, one often thinks in terms of physical abuse. This is a common form of domestic violence; however, it is not the most common. In fact, financial abuse is the most common form.

Financial abuse can come into play in various formats. In the beginning, the victim may hold a job. However, the abuser continues to harass the victim, causing problems at work that ultimately lead to termination. Once this happens, the abuser then prevents the victim from being able to obtain another job.

Another format of financial abuse is when the abuser steals the identity of his or her spouse and then opens credit accounts in the victim's name. Later, if the victim attempts to leave the relationship, his or her credit is compromised. This often results in the victim feeling as if he or she has no choice but to stay in the abusive relationship.

Domestic violence is unfortunately a way of life for some California families. While it often goes unnoticed, the damage is still there. For those victimized by domestic violence, there are alternatives. The first step is to seek experienced guidance. There are legal remedies available through California's court system; furthermore, there are agencies available that provide assistance to victims of domestic violence.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Empowering Women Affected by Domestic Violence", Nov. 18, 2016

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