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NNEDV & Thirty-One Gifts

About The Partnership

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has been a proud partner of Thirty-One Gifts since 2013. Through support from Thirty-One Gifts and its consultants, NNEDV has received more than $200,000 in donations to help provide the tools to empower survivors and spread awareness about domestic violence.

What is Domestic Violence?
A Closer Look at Financial Abuse
Empowering Survivors Through Credit Building
How You Can Help

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse. Some abusers are able to exert complete control over a victim’s every action without ever using violence or only using subtle threats of violence. All types of abuse are devastating to victims.

Domestic violence is a pervasive, life-threatening crime that affects millions of individuals across the United States regardless of age, economic status, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, or education level.

High-profile cases of domestic violence will attract headlines, but thousands of people experience domestic abuse every day. They come from all walks of life. In a 24-hour survey, NNEDV found that U.S. domestic violence shelters and programs served 74,823 victims and answered 19,459 crisis hotline calls in one day alone.

It is important for survivors to know that the abuse is not their fault, and that they are not alone. Help is available to those who are experiencing domestic violence. For help and assistance call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

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A Closer Look at Financial Abuse

Financial abuse, while less commonly understood, is one of the most powerful methods of keeping a survivor trapped in a relationship with an abusive partner and deeply diminishes the victim’s ability to stay safe after leaving an abusive partner. Research indicates that financial abuse occurs in 99% of domestic violence cases.

As with other forms of abuse, financial abuse may begin subtly and progress over time. It may even look like love initially as abusers have the capacity to appear very charming and are masterful at manipulation. For example, the abuser may make statements such as, “I know you’re under a lot of stress right now so why don’t you just let me take care of the finances and I’ll give you money each week to take care of what you need.” Under these circumstances, the victim may believe that she or he should or can trust the partner she or he is in love with and may willingly give over control of the money and how it is spent. This scenario commonly leads to the abuser giving the victim less and less in “allowance” and by the time the victim decides she or he wants to take back control of the finances, she or he discovers that the accounts have all been moved or she or he no longer has knowledge or access to the family funds.

The short- and long-term effects of financial abuse can be devastating. In the short-term, access to assets is imperative to staying safe. Without assets, survivors are often unable to obtain safe and affordable housing or the funds to provide for themselves or their children. With realistic fears of homelessness, it is little wonder that survivors sometimes return to an abusive partner.

For those who manage to escape the abuse and survive initially, they often face overwhelming odds in obtaining long-term security and safety. Ruined credit scores, sporadic employment histories, and legal issues caused by the abuse make it extremely difficult to gain independence, safety, and long-term security.

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Empowering Survivors Through Credit Building

Since 2016, Thirty-One Gifts has partnered with NNEDV to focus on economic justice for survivors of financial abuse. Through seed funding provided by Thirty-One Gifts, NNEDV launched the Independence Project, a microloan program that serves as a credit building tool for survivors of domestic violence.

Participants in the Independence Project often have limited access to traditional banking and lending services, which puts them at risk for to predatory lending practices. For many victims, concerns about their ability to provide for themselves and their children are a significant reason for staying in, or returning to, an abusive partner. Access to resources that increase economic stability are essential in rebuilding your life after abuse.

“Microloans” are very small, short-term loans that are paid back monthly. These repayments are reported to the credit bureaus and help survivors participating in the program to improve their credit score. Participants who complete monthly payments on their microloan have seen their credit scores increase by an average of 48 points. With increased financial security, survivors are able to improve their options for housing, budgeting, and planning for long-term security.

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Thirty-One Gifts’ support of the Independence Project funds nearly 25% of the program!

How You Can Help

When you get involved, you can make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of survivors affected by domestic violence each day.

Join the Gives Round Up! in September, October, and November 2019

  • Thirty-One Gifts consultants can help financially empower survivors this fall through the Round Up! program.
  • Every $100 raised during Round Up! this fall will help provide a microloan for survivors.

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Find all this and more in our Get Involved Toolkit.