Rutgers University Study Finds That Financial Counseling Can Be a Huge Benefit to Victims of Domestic Violence

Rutgers,_The_State_University_of_New_Jersey_logoA study conducted by researchers at the School of Social Work at Rutgers University in New Jersey finds that financial education for victims of domestic violence is just as important as other counseling in helping women who have been abused adjust to a new life. Many victims of domestic physical violence are also subjected to attempts to destroy their credit, interference with employment opportunities, and restrictions on their access to money.

The 14-month study involved 457 survivors of domestics violence some of whom took a course called Moving Ahead Through Financial Management. The training includes information on how to disentangle financial relationships with an abusive partner, work through past misuse of financial records, and address safety concerns, all while working toward long-term financial empowerment. The women who received the financial management training did significantly better over time on every measured financial variable than women who did not receive the training.

“The scars caused by financial abuse can last more than a decade,” said Vicky Dinges, senior vice president of corporate responsibility at Allstate, one of the sponsors of the research. “This research validates what we’ve heard from social service providers for years. Financial empowerment works and is one of the most important ways to help survivors obtain long-term security and safety for themselves and their children.”

Postmus_Judy.sflb“The study demonstrates survivors of domestic violence need targeted financial tools and resources to help them recover from abuse,” said Judy L. Postmus, an associate professor of social work and the director of the Rutgers University Center on Violence Against Women & Children and lead researcher on the study.”

Dr. Postmus is a magna cum laude graduate of Florida International University in Miami. She holds a master of social work degree from Barry University in Miami and a Ph.D. in social welfare from the University at Albany of the State University of New York system.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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