NCADV's Financial Education ProjectProject Description
What is Financial Education?
How Can I Obtain a Copy of the Hope & Power Materials?
Links to Other Financial Education Resources
Victims of domestic violence often make several attempts to leave an abusive partner and are forced to return for economic reasons. Economic self-sufficiency is frequently the difference between violence and safety for many victims. Domestic violence advocates must be prepared to address many of the economic issues that victims face, and facilitate opportunities for victims to learn how they can improve their economic situation. Issues such as budgeting, identity theft, banking, predatory lending, violence in the workplace, housing, and credit, all play a role in ending domestic violence.
NCADV is addressing economic issues through our financial education project. In 2001 we collaborated with the National Endowment for Financial Education and developed financial education materials called, Hope & Power for Your Personal Finances: A Rebuilding Guide Following Domestic Violence, in an ongoing effort to support victims of domestic violence in their endeavors to achieve economic self-sufficiency. In addition to the materials, NCADV provides training and technical assistance to domestic violence programs and other community organizations who wish to address economic issues with victims of domestic violence.
What is Financial Education?
Financial education involves knowing and understanding the often complex principles of earning, spending, saving and investing. It is vital for everyone, and commonly, compared with middle class and higher income Americans, low-income persons save much lower portions of their incomes and accumulate fewer assets. Research shows that individuals who participate in financial education programs are more likely to save money, realize they have access to certain programs, understand consumer credit and establish a budget. Financial education gives individuals personal control over money and other financial resources. Building financial skills allows individuals to gain confidence in their abilities to make informed, responsible financial decisions.
Financial education includes:
- Balancing a checkbook
- Keeping financial records safe & confidential
- Preventing identity theft
- Taking a financial inventory
- Building a financial base
- Finding & maintaining affordable housing
- Understanding predatory lending
- Getting a job
- Managing money
- Debt management
- Child and spousal support
- Developing financial goals
- Building good credit
- Protecting against financial loss
For victims of domestic violence, efforts to obtain financial education are often hindered by abusive partners. For victims in all socioeconomic brackets, financial education is essential to breaking the cycle of violence. Financial matters become infinitely more complicated when compounded with the need to protect oneself from an abusive partner.
The following are some examples of how the road to financial freedom is extremely difficult for victims of domestic violence:
- Often, victims of domestic violence have little or no access to financial resources and face the choice of poverty or remaining in an abusive relationship.
- Abusive partners may sabotage victims’ attempts to seek employment or education outside of the home by harassing them at work, withholding transportation or childcare, or beating them severely.
- Victims of domestic violence who have access to the internet may be unable to retrieve vital information about resources that could help them leave the relationship because many abusers closely monitor the websites victims visit.
- Some abusive partners harass victims through their social security numbers by damaging their credit and accessing their bank accounts.
How Can I Obtain a Copy of the Hope & Power Materials?
The Participant Workbook – Hope & Power for Your Personal Finances: A Rebuilding Guide Following Domestic Violence – was created by NCADV, the National Endowment for Financial Education and Intuit. It is written to help battered women regain control of their financial lives and begin to build a better future for themselves and their children. It is designed for women who have left an abusive relationship and for those who are still in the relationship and are considering their options. Single copies of the workbook are available to battered women at no cost. Organizations may also request a single copy to review or order multiple copies at a nominal fee.
Download your free copy(ies) via this link:
Financial Education Resources
If you would like to link to NCADV’s Financial Education resources, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Endowment for Financial Education: www.nefe.org.
NEFE is a foundation that partners for the financial well-being of the public. They are dedicated to helping all Americans acquire the information and gain the skills necessary to take control of their personal finances. NEFE partners with other concerned organizations to provide financial education to members of the public – in particular, to underserved individuals whose financial education issues are not being addressed by others. To access NEFE’s financial education clearinghouse, click on Multimedia Access and then on the financial education clearinghouse at the top of the page.
Financial Resources for Women and Children: www.frwc.org.
FRWC provides very basic money management information on its web site. It also partners with women’s shelters and support groups to provide money management instruction, mentoring, and small loans to qualified participants.
Women’s Institute for Financial Education: www.wife.org.
The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO): www.microenterpriseworks.org.
The national membership organization for the microenterprise development field, AEO, works to assist underserved entrepreneurs to start, stabilize and expand businesses. AEO does this by supporting a network of non-profit microenterprise development programs around the country. These programs provide training, technical assistance and financing to help people start and grow businesses. This can be a valuable income generation path for domestic violence survivors. To find a potential partner program near you, go to AEO’s website and look on the home page for the category “Member organizations near you”. You will be able to search by state for program contact information.
To download a copy of the Domestic Violence & Microenterprise Fact Sheet click HERE.
Your Money Matters: Tax Information for Survivors of Domestic Abuse: www.irs.gov (search for publication #3865)
Social Security Administration’s Website for Women: www.ssa.gov/women/
Creating Success: Russian-English Guide to Financial Security in the USA: www.jewishwomen.org/programs/success.htm
A free, bilingual 65-page guide with hundreds of useful tips to help new immigrants learn about banking, budget basics, education, career planning and many other topics. The Guide was produced in partnership with the National Endowment of Financial Education. It is a valuable resource for individuals as well as vocational and career counselors, ESL teachers, and organizations that work with immigrants.
Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families: http://www.fanniemaefoundation.org/programs/native_american.shtml
Lack of information about personal finance and credit is a serious issue for Native communities. In response, the Fannie Mae Foundation and First Nations Development Institute created Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families, a financial literacy curriculum developed specifically for American Indian families. The curriculum is a unique tool to help Native people build on their own knowledge and develop personal financial skills while embracing Native traditions and values.
The Self-Sufficiency Standard: www.sixstrategies.org.
Developed by the national organization, Wider Opportunities for Women, as part of the State Organizing Project for Family Economic Self-Sufficiency by Dr. Diana Pearce, the self-sufficiency standard measures how much income is needed for a family of a given composition in a given place to adequately meet their basic needs without public or private assistance. It has been calculated for 36 states.
The Wise-Up Curriculum: www.wiseupwomen.org.
Created by the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, Wise-Up targets generation X women, by providing an online financial education curriculum.
VAWNET Resources - Economic Advocacy - www.vawnet.org
- Economic Education Programs for Battered Women: Lessons Learned from Two Settings, by Katie Ciorba VonDeLinde and Amy Correia (April 2005)
- Integrating Anti-Poverty Work into Domestic Violence Advocacy: Iowa's Experience by Amy Correia and Katie M. Ciorba VonDeLinde, (2002 October 01) Details training advocates, developing new collaborative partnerships, and providing economic advocacy to battered women at three pilot sites.
- Welfare and Domestic Violence Against Women: Lessons from Research by Eleanor Lyon August (2002) Provides a summary of the research on the connections among poverty, public assistance, employment, and violence against women.
- Expanding Solutions for Domestic Violence and Poverty: What Battered Women with Abused Children Need from Their Advocates by Susan Schechter (December 2000) Challenges US battered women's movement to expand its solutions to embrace economic advocacy and collaborate to build new forms of outreach and services.
- Supporting Battered Women's Economic Development: One Community's Effort by Trish Bonica (December 2000) Details a process used in St. Louis, Missouri to develop a regional coalition to support battered women's economic development.
- Welfare, Poverty, and Abused Women: New Research and Its Implications by Eleanor Lyon. (October 2000) Explores what we know and don't know about the impact of domestic violence on recipients' physical and mental health and work experiences.
- Strategies to Expand Battered Women's Economic Opportunities by Amy Correia (January 2000) Provides an overview of strategies being implemented to increase economic opportunities for low-income women and families, includes definitions and program examples.
- Building Opportunities for Battered Women's Safety and Self-Sufficiency, by Jill Davies. (1998) This first of two welfare practice papers provides background information about domestic violence, options battered women need to be safe and self-sufficient, and discussions of implementation.
- "Economic Resource Connections for Battered Women: A Collaborative Community Approach" (September 2004, Volume 5, Number 2) This issue of the BCS newsletter features the economic advocacy and collaborative community approach of Her Will, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois. The main article describes Her Will's core activities and approach to establishing and maintaining resource connections for battered women and their families.