[Julie Kun: Chief Executive Officer, WIRE]
There are quite a lot of myths around financial abuse. One of them is that it only happens to people that don’t have money, that it’s something that happens to someone who is poor. That is not true. It can happen to anyone regardless of their socio-economic background.
The other myth is that it only happens to people that don’t understand their financial situation. That it’s because of financial ignorance, is the only reason why it occurs. That is not the case. It can happen to women that know a lot about finances, they’re just not allowed to utilise their skills and that their confidence is denigrated by the perpetrator who keeps on telling them that they are bad and hopeless at managing money.
The other myth that is there, is that it’s just something that women say has happened when they’re going through a divorce. That is clearly not the case. The other thing that I think is a real myth when it comes to financial abuse that when someone is in the process of separating, that is a normal, that people will start fighting over every dollar and will go through the courts for years and years and years going through property settlement. That is not the case. Only five to seven percent of separations will end up in court. Most of them although incredibly stressful and painful and full of grief, will not be so vicious that it will end up about one partner trying to financially destroy the other.
Understanding financial abuse is an important first step in offering support. These resources provide further information on the many forms financial abuse can take.