Domestic Violence and Financial Stress

Can Financial Stress Lead to Domestic Violence?

As the recession in 2008 and 2009 worsened, families began to see their financial situation suffer.Unemployment rates were climbing to their highest since the early 1980s and the number of home foreclosures was steadily increasing. At the same time, domestic violence (DV) agencies were reporting an increase in calls from women in need.

The Facts

This increase, unfortunately, should not have been a surprise. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, domestic violence is actually three times more likely to occur when a couple is experiencing high financial stresses versus low financial stresses. Women whose male partners experienced two or more periods of unemployment in a five year time span are almost three times as likely to to be victims of DV as opposed to women whose partners are in stable jobs.

Stress Causes Violence

When people are experiencing stress, they have a more difficult time controlling their anger. Anxiety activates the fight or flight response, and while it doesn’t necessarily cause “fighting,” it can cause other types of violence and aggression. When someone is experiencing anxiety or stress in the workplace, or in other parts of their life, their anger is building up (probably from feeling helpless) and it tends to be released at home. The CalmClinic has more information on how to control anger and an interesting anxiety assessment.

Domestic Violence Affects Anyone

DV affects all socioeconomic levels throughout our society. After the 2008 recession, many people lost their jobs or a significant portion of their assets, and with that stress came the violence. Almost everyone was experiencing some level of financial stress, so most domestic violence shelters were reporting that as the reason for the increase.

If You Are Being Abused

If you are being abused, the first thing to know is that you are not alone and the abuse is not your fault. Safety and support are critical if you are in an abusive relationship.

It is also important to become financially independent so that you can leave quickly and not rely on your partner for survival.

  • Obtain your credit report and monitor it regularly.
  • Open a P.O. box and have all your financial information sent to that address if you are receiving it before you leave.
  • Call your utility companies, phone company, cable company, and anyone else that would have personal financial information to secure it with a special PIN and passwords. Ask the companies to use identifying information other than your social security number, date of birth, or mother’s maiden name.
  • Change all ATM PINs and passwords and your email passwords.
  • Make the necessary changes to your insurance plans and will

Tim Dimoff is an Expert on Rage

Tim Dimoff, author of Life Rage, is an expert on anxiety and rage. Email him today at tim@timothydimoff.com to ask about ordering his book or fill out the Speaker Request Form if you would like Tim to speak.

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