Life isn’t easy for victims of domestic abuse or partner violence. The trauma affects you physically and emotionally, and things get even worse when you are financially dependent on your partner. You can well imagine the challenge of sustaining yourself or raising your kids without financial support. But it isn’t the reason to overlook abuse and continue suffering. You should have the courage to get out of an abusive relationship, and attaining financial independence gives you the confidence to take the initiative.
Thousands of women who suffered from abuse at some time have stood up and built back, and their stories are inspiring more women to raise a voice. You only have to be ready to explore the opportunities for financial freedom, and you will find several options to get life on track. Everything boils down to recognizing your potential and moving in the right direction, and building back will be much easier than you imagine. Here are some valuable pieces of advice shared by women entrepreneurs who were once abuse victims.
Focus on Self-Care First
Even before you think about moving ahead and sorting out money, self-care should be your top priority. An abusive relationship takes a toll on your well-being, so you need to resume normal life before doing anything else. Prioritize rebuilding your self-confidence because it is hard to get your life back on track unless you believe in yourself. Meditation and socializing should be a part of your self-care program. While meditation helps you deal with the pain and trauma, socializing enables you to connect with people and find new opportunities.
Build on Your Skills
The next significant step for becoming financially independent is to build on your skills. Whether you plan to join the workforce or try your hand at entrepreneurship, you will need to have a specific skill set. Consider going back to college or taking up a skill development course so that you have a stronger resume. Women entrepreneurs can leverage the additional skills to get financial help and plan a strategic start for their new ventures. Education always helps you make a financial comeback, so be willing to invest the effort at the right places.
Sort Out the Legal Aspects
One of the biggest challenges for abuse victims in the US relates to their legal status. If you are an immigrant waiting to get your green card, leaving your abusive spouse can be a hindrance to your permanent residency status in the country. You may even face the risk of deportation. Fortunately, you can seek relief under vawa if you are married to a permanent resident who abused you or your children. It also applies to victims abused by US citizen children. You have to file a petition with the help of an immigration lawyer. Once you validate your case, you can get your green card and start a career as any other person in the country can.
Know Where You Stand Financially
The next step is to get started with your building-back journey. Start by assessing your current position to know where you stand financially after separating from your abusive partner. Find out details such as your current income sources if any, bank account balances, assets owned, and debts owed. Hunt for insurance policies and credit cards, which may be a challenge if your partner had been handling the family finances. It makes sense to understand things inside out and go the extra mile to find hidden issues so that you have a clear picture of the situation.
Secure Your Financial Records
Knowing the state of your money helps you come up with the right strategy so that you can secure your future. Before you start looking for a job or take your startup plans ahead, secure your financial records first. You need to do it on top priority if the abusive partner had access to your bank accounts. Start by closing the joint banking or credit card accounts even before you leave. You may get into a fix if your partner transacts from the joint accounts as the liabilities are shared till you hold the account together. Changing your passwords is vital to keep your money safe from unauthorized withdrawal and pilferage. The sooner you do it, the better.
Seek Support for Making a Comeback
Your ride may be a tad smoother if you are already working or have the right skills to join the workforce. But things can get challenging if you lack skills and experience. Fortunately, you can explore some incredible entrepreneurship opportunities even if you don’t have an impressive educational background. For example, women entrepreneurs have done wonders in low-key domains such as cloud kitchens and decor services. You will need some financial support and guidance at the start, but do not hesitate to ask. If you look at the right places, you will probably find people and organizations that are more than willing to lend a helping hand.
Treat Yourself Kindly
Entrepreneurship is a challenging journey, and success does not come overnight for most new ventures. Things may be even harder if you are dealing with the stress and trauma of a history of partner abuse. Treating yourself kindly is the best way to handle the stress and get through the tight spot. Have faith in your capabilities, and you will be able to build back sooner rather than later. You can even create a support group with like-minded women. They will understand your pain better and even help you with your business. Giving them the opportunity to join your team is a good idea as it lets you make a positive difference.
Building back is certainly hard for partner abuse victims, but it isn’t impossible. Becoming financially independent is the first step of the comeback journey, and the best way to do it is by exploring entrepreneurship opportunities and ideas. Look for ones that you feel confident about and also require a minimal investment. Ask for help when you need it, and you will be on the right track sooner than you may have imagined.