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From Bev’s Desk: Financial Literacy Month

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Since 2003, April has been recognized as National Financial Literacy Month. This month highlights the importance of sound and healthy financial habits that improve an individual’s knowledge, skills and confidence. You can learn more about Financial Literacy Month here.

While any individual can benefit from increased financial acumen, for survivors of domestic violence it is especially important. At the core of domestic violence is power and control, which is often employed to entrap a partner in the relationship. In fact, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that between 94-99% of domestic violence survivors have also experienced economic abuse.

A 2015 profile of clients participating in the WCA’s economic abuse program, Treasure Valley Economic Abuse Program, found that 56% felt as though they has no right to know any details about money/ household resources, 63% had partners who made financial decisions without consulting them and 54% were made to account for every penny they spent. A common result of an individual who has experienced economic (financial) abuse is a ruined credit score and, too often, a high level of debt. Safety centered, the WCA’s financial literacy curriculum, helps survivors understand and maneuver their financial challenges and empowers the clients through information that can be utilized to build financial independence.

Last year, 288 individuals participated in the WCA’s financial literacy program and 85% graduated, thus making them eligible for additional coaching. More than half of those reaching out to the WCA for personal financial coaching received several sessions. Our program guides women to focus on their future and to continually seek new opportunities for themselves with the ultimate goal of becoming self-sufficient. It is an important part of their journey to safety, healing and freedom. You can learn more about the WCA’s financial literacy program here.

 

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