Domestic abuse victims are at a distinct disadvantage in life.
Now upon reading the phrase “domestic abuse” or “domestic violence,” most people immediately think of abusive partners. While this is a tough reality for most, a lot of people forget the children that are victims too, because many do not want to admit that a parent can’t love or care for their child properly. Nevertheless, there isn’t enough financial assistance out there for any victim.
If you try searching for financial assistance available for victims of domestic abuse, you may come across numerous organizations offering scholarships and grants. However, if you really look at the requirements to even apply for help, you quickly realize that most of are not very helpful. They often require you to have, at the very least, left the relationship, have contacts who can verify your situation, and to have attended counseling sessions. Anyone who has gone through domestic abuse knows how ludicrous just the first requirement sounds: leaving is never easy and leaving without the guarantee of some sort of financial stability is even harder. Someone should not have to run away and hope to get a job somewhere because of the abusive environment they were born into. Because chances are that even if they succeed leaving safely, most will be stuck in that job for an unfair amount of time.
The second requirement for references is only possible after you have left and sought out professional help. The few people who know you might be reluctant or be dangerous to approach as the perpetrator may have contacted them to get you back. Getting professional counselling will not be easy because of the lack of funds to afford a qualified therapist that works for you and because the resources will require time that you don’t have because you’re too busy working minimum wage jobs.
These were just the basic requirements. There are even more that make it impossible for certain people to get the financial help they requires such as males from abusive relationships, children of abusive parents, and the young adults trying to break free. The organizations offering assistance have the right intentions, but they’re not helping those who need it.
Domestic abuse is complicated. The perpetrator always seem to be one step ahead. They limit your contact with everyone besides them before you even realize what is happening. Any money you may have had disappears (if you’re born into this situation, you never have any to begin with.) Perpetrators can have entire families under their control, meaning one member cannot leave without a solid plan; it would destroy everyone they leave behind. Certain perpetrators have strong connections and it is impossible to escape without having the funds to get very far away. Some never recognize the abuse, others try to wait it out only to have the perpetrator live well into old age and use up any inheritance that may have helped.
There are beautiful, brave people who do make it and manage to turn their life around. But it is usually because at some point, life did work in their favor. As a society, we can’t hope and rely on life tipping the balance in the favor of a victim. Not everyone is lucky enough to be allowed to work and able to save up while living in the abusive situation. Not everyone has the right environment to be able to study and keep their GPA above 3.0. We need to have a strong, helping hand stretched out towards victims at all times because too many end up losing their life in the struggle.