Financial Abuse: Continued Violence Against Women

Violence against our women and girls continues to be and inhumane act which is either oversight or normalized. Last I heard of the revision of the Domestic Violence Act which has seemingly being stalled due to change in government.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Domestic violence also goes by other names, including intimate partner violence, battering, relationship abuse, spousal abuse and family violence.

Having adopted the definition of violence from The International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS to truly mean, any act, structure or process in which power is exerted in such a way as to cause physical, sexual, psychological, financial or legal harm. I highlight the need for consciousness to be raised surrounding financial and legal harm; with a special focus on financial harm as we hope to orange the world and raise money to end violence against women

Financial abuse can be very subtle. It can include telling you what you can and cannot buy or requiring you to share control of your bank accounts. It can also expand to giving you an allowance and closely watching what you buy; placing your paycheck in their account and denying you access to it; keeping you from seeing shared bank accounts or records, forbidding you to work or limiting the hours you do; preventing you from going to work by taking your car or keys; getting you fired by harassing you, your employer or coworkers on the job; refusing to give you money, food, rent, medicine or clothing; using funds from your children’s tuition or a joint savings account without your knowledge; spending money on themselves but not allowing you to do the same; giving you presents and/or paying for things like dinner and expecting you to somehow return the favor; using their money to hold power over you because they know you are not in the same financial situation as they are.

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

In 2016, the UNiTE campaign strongly emphasizes the need for sustainable financing for efforts to end violence against women and girls towards the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide is the substantial funding shortfall. As a result, resources for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls are severely lacking. The UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women’s call for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in 2016 is ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls’. The initiative provides a moment to bring the issue of sustainable financing for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women to global prominence and also presents the opportunity for resource mobilization for the issue.

See more at: 16 Days of Activism

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