On Read A Book Day, authors share their experience of economic abuse to help raise awareness.
“She was in an impossible situation. While she was out earning more money to keep up the living expenses, he started drinking more and more. She felt like a dog trying to catch its tail.”
Perpetrators abdicate responsibility for providing money to keep the household finances on track. They want you to go to work, they want the money you will earn, but they make it so hard for you. Often they will sabotage your attempts to keep things ‘normal’. They will hide keys before you go to work, accuse you of affairs, criticise you for wearing nice clothes and often victims will have more than one job, trying to keep the debts at bay, but the shame of eviction, bailiffs and with credit card debt out of control, it keeps you there. It stops you from leaving and you hide the financial chaos in the same way that you hide the bruises from colleagues and friends. Work was so important for me, work was the place I could be “Fiona”. I could be respected; I could do my job and be part of the “team”. Home was where I was abused and violated. Work was the vehicle that carried me through those dark times and having a job was so important. I was being disciplined for having an unauthorised overdraft, which was not permitted when you were a Bank Cashier. I was being disciplined for poor attendance because when he had beaten me so badly I had to ring in sick until I could walk properly, or until the bruises faded enough for me to go back to work.
In my book “Did I Wake You Pet?” in Chapter 16, I describe the exhaustion and embarrassment of being financially, emotionally and physically abused..
“The crunch finally came one Thursday. It was a few weeks after she had come out of hospital (after the last worst beating). Her fear of him had grown and grown. She had tried to help him but he rejected her help. She was living on a knife-edge. She was trying to make ends meet, unsuccessfully. She was working full time in the Bank and on Thursday Nights, Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays she worked in a flower shop in Waverley Station.
She was exhausted.
She was in an impossible situation. While she was out earning more money to keep up the living expenses, he started drinking more and more.
She felt like a dog trying to catch its tail.
He would often turn up at the shop, drunk, asking for money. It wasn’t uncommon for him to take the key to the storeroom and go there and fall asleep. She was terrified her employer would come down and find him. She was a bag of nerves.
His violent moods had begun to return. On this particular Thursday, it had been his day off and payday. He had been drinking all day and had gone home about 7pm.
He phoned her at the shop and began to be abusive. She tried to calm him down but his mood got worse and worse. “Shut the shop and get home,” he shouted. She knew what would happen when she went home. He was going to kill her, she knew it.”
If you’d like to buy one of this book you can also donate to SEA via Amazon Smile at no extra cost to you. Simply select Surviving Economic Abuse as your charity of choice.