Survivor Questions: Is Financial Safety Planning Fair to Your Abusive Spouse?


Advocates:  Put aside money and resources as you are safely able to do so.

When advocates suggest putting money, aside there are people who wonder if this is the best solution.


Fact: Women, especially minority women of color are often expected to put everyone and everything before their own safety.  

We understand the hesitation.

Still, as even most faith leaders in good ethical and moral standing will likely tell you; if you are married to someone who is a threat to your safety the covenant of marriage has already been broken.

If someone, anyone, including your spouse; is a threat to your safety, your life, your is critical that you plan to take the necessary steps to protect your own safety. 

That doesn’t mean you have to go the route of Jennifer Lopez in the movie Enough.

You aren’t expected to become a superhero prepared to take down the villain in your own life. 


  • reaching out for help,
  • secretly gathering available resources,
  • confiding in someone you can trust,
  • researching your options
  • developing a plan for safety

are giant acts of courage in the face of what you are experiencing. 

For more on this: Faith Trust Institute


A place to stay, food, medication, hygiene products, clothing, a new life absolutely takes money and resources. 

If we add children, that can all multiply. 

Gathering finances can mean:

*Knowing may mean keeping a record in a place your abusive partner doesn’t have access to

Knowing exactly how much money is available to the household on payday and after bills are paid

Knowing which bills are due and when they are due

Knowing account numbers

Knowing exactly how much is in each financial account

Knowing how much is accessible and in what time period

Knowing your credit score 

Knowing which assets can be liquidated to cash relatively quickly

Knowing which community organizations offer emergency food, utility, housing, medication, transportation, hygiene supplies

Knowing the guidelines for qualifying for emergency assistance

Knowing which trusted and confidential people, organizations, or houses of faith may have a list or connection to resources in the community that you may be seeking refuge in.  

Knowing which loyal and trustworthy family and friends can assist with emergency food, utility, housing, medication, transportation, hygiene supplies, etc.  

Knowing which skills you possess that people will pay money for.  Ex: sewing, cleaning, writing, etc.

And, YES, do secretly and safely put aside what money, credit, investments, loans, resources that you can.

Domestic violence is potentially fatal. 

You deserve safety.

You have a divine right to safety

You have a legal right to safety.

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Bottom Line: Leaving a violent relationship takes financial resources, community, and a plan. 

There are people, organizations, & faith groups ready to assist you. 

CAUTION:  Please use extreme caution to make certain that the abusive partner, the partner’s relatives, and/or the partner’s supporters do not learn of any part of your financial safety planning.  

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