Abuse isn’t just about bruises. Not all forms of abuse leave bruises where we can see them,What Happens When You Get A Domestic Violence Charge in South Africa . Although physical abuse is terrifying and needs to be addressed immediately there are other forms of abuse that can cause significant damage. One type of abuse that is very difficult for outsiders to detect is financial abuse. Marriage should be a partnership but when one spouse completely dominates the finances to the point that the other spouse has no control and no options financial abuse may be occurring.
What Are Signs of Potential Financial Abuse?
Every married couple handles their finances differently. In some cases one spouse handles the majority of the finances. They manage the accounts, pay the bills and deal with creditors. That does not by itself equal financial abuse.
Financial abuse occurs when one spouse is treated like an irresponsible child and Substance Abuse Near Me . They are cut off from funds and their knowledge about the couple’s finances is severely limited. Some signs of financial abuse include:
•Strict Allowances. This isn’t an amount that the spouses have agreed to limit themselves to but is instead a set amount that is grudgingly handed out from one spouse to the other and is all that will be given.
Documents, documents, documents. Written evidence is incredibly strong and can range from credit card bills showing that there is a credit card but that you aren’t named on it to emails from your spouse that show the financial abuse.
Other witnesses can be incredibly powerful on your behalf. Financial abuse is hard for people outside the relationship to detect. So when someone credible comes in and tells the judge that it is happening and they can see it the judge will listen and Domestic Violence News Stories .
What Happens When You Get A Domestic Violence Charge in South Africa ?
I stopped by the house; my friend was crying. Her tears not from pain. They were tears of bitterness, humiliation, disbelief. She rubbed her shoulder as she wept; she couldn't look at me. Her husband had hit her again.
She wouldn't call the police; there was no point. When she did there was little they could do without a court order or visible marks of assault. He was long gone anyway. The children had witnessed his rage against her as usual. Watching their father beat their mother cut the remnants of their innocence to shreds. The eldest teenage son was torn between wanting to protect her and knowing that in his anger his father would beat him senseless if he tried. The neighbors, when they finally heard of the problems believed her husband's story not hers; he was such a decent guy, he could never act like that.
There's a reply that follows many domestic violence incidents that has become a cliché, when the victim is asked why she is staying with her attacker; 'because I love him.'
As I explained to my friend, her husband did not love her. There were a hundred 'buts' in response but they fell on deaf ears. I could only advise, 'leave...today.' It was up to her. In the end she did leave him and never looked back. She had a happy-ever-after story but many don't.
Domestic violence can follow a predictable pattern and it's progressive. It can start with shouting, threats, broken objects, punched walls. It moves to a push, a blocked doorway. A punch, a twisted arm, a black eye. Sexual abuse. Right up to death. The progression is no guarantee, at times it starts with death - by choking, gunshot, being thrown out the window, pushed from a moving car.
Where it stops depends not on the abuser but on the person being abused. That ability to put an end to it implies a responsibility to face what is happening and to make it stop. All the more urgent when children are involved.
People look for a cause for the abusers actions, as if that will change it. Alcohol, drugs, poverty don't cause it - they exacerbate it. If you're a batterer, you're a psychopath in need of treatment or jail. Just not at the expense of using someone as a punching bag as a gateway to treatment. You know it already. You're also a coward. Post-battering remorse, pleading "I'm sorry," means nothing. Empty words.
A good rule of thumb. The first time he or she hits you, leave. It's better live in a car with your kids than to live for a moment with someone who can defile or hurt you. They will eventually kill you, emotionally if not physically.
Victims give batterers permission to hurt them. Not the first time of course; certainly the second time.
It's done by not leaving after the first time; by not blowing the batterers brains out when they raise a hand to you or your kids; by not calling the police and filing a complaint that leads to an arrest.
Change starts with the victim. Change starts with you.
Financial Abuse By A Spouse
When the economy dips, domestic violence often increases, affecting your workplace. This is the first of two articles on preventing DV from hitting your office.
A proactive approach to domestic violence should include designing and implementing a specific domestic violence in the workplace policy. This will not only protect your organization from liability, it will protect your employees, and help victims of domestic abuse feel supported.
Your policy should, at a minimum:
- Mitigate the effects of domestic violence in the workplace by providing victims with a link to community resources that offer counseling and advocacy. (Your organization is not required to do this itself.)
- Heighten awareness about domestic violence among all employees.
- Address issues related to the need for time off and security.
- Design an appropriate workplace safety plan, including resources, materials, and training or educational programs, as needed or as funds and time permit.
- Establish links between your organization and the local domestic violence advocacy community.
- Review existing employment policies and manuals to ensure that the domestic violence policy and program make sense in the organization's culture and environment.
- Review your EAP's policies and identify those providers who possess the requisite knowledge and experience to identify and respond appropriately to domestic violence.
- Establish and train an internal Domestic Violence Response Team, composed of designated managers, supervisors, and employees identified as the "go-to-team". Ensuring that your policy complies with the applicable laws in every jurisdiction in which it conducts business.
There are a number of security measures you can take to protect both the victim of domestic violence and all your employees. These procedures will also add protection in the case of a disgruntled former employee seeking to harm the past employer.
Imperative for the Targeted Individual:
- Consider adjusting parking and office situations (is she in an office with a window on the street; or is her office far from the main cluster?)
- Arrange for a security escort to and from buildings.
- Give temporary assignments if possible, so employees can leave on short notice if necessary.
- Be sure she knows what she can and should do if the abuser comes to work.
- Attempt to prevent gossip about an abused individual's situation
- If she has a protection order, be sure security guards and the front desk have a copy, as well as a photo of the individual.
- Help her develop a safety plan (Legal Momentum Organization website has some examples.)
- Minimal security against unauthorized persons (check-in or badges help.)
- Provide informational pamphlets in private places, like restrooms.
- Establish staggered, flexible work hours.
- Raise awareness: Use posters during October (Domestic Violence Awareness Month); organize clothes or toy drives for battered women's shelters; or otherwise connect with the anti-DV community to let employees know you care.
- Increase sensitivity: Provide training for managers, and for the DV contact team-- about how to recognize the signs of domestic violence in their staff and how to discuss the workplace policies around the issue.
- Educate: Employee training, brown bag seminars, newsletter articles, and brochures on domestic violence all create an environment where it is safe to talk about domestic violence.