An abusive relationship can make you feel isolated, but the fact is that domestic abuse between intimate partners in Massachusetts is more common than you might think. Victims now have more access to justice and routes to leave abusers, but escape remains difficult. However, societal recognition of the problem has shed light on how often people find themselves in harmful romantic relationships. Millions suffer physical attacks and financial abuse.
High number of domestic abuse victims
Advocates for survivors estimate that 20 people every minute experience domestic abuse nationwide. This amounts to roughly 10 million a year. Breaking down the data by gender, the federal government calculated that 25% of women and 11% of men suffer abuse at the hands of their intimate partners.
Financial abuse accompanies physical abuse
Most people think of domestic abuse in terms of physical violence. Abuse often escalates to physical attacks once verbal assaults fail to produce the desired results. On top of this, their arsenal almost always includes financially abusive tactics. Limiting a partner’s access to money tightens an abuser’s grip because the person cannot pay for new housing or even a car in many cases.
Financial abuse takes two forms. First, an abusive partner may prevent you from accessing money or earning income. This occurs when an abuser sabotages your employment opportunities or gets you fired. It can even manifest as a prohibition on working outside the home. In its second form, financial abuse takes advantage of your earning power. An abusive partner takes all of your money and makes you rack up debts in your name. As a result, your ruined credit makes it harder to survive on your own.