My ex emptied out all of MY bank accounts.
Leaving me with only $0.27 and not a clue on what to do next.
You may be wondering how does someone survive financially, after having all your money stolen and bank accounts emptied? I was too.
How does a college student go from always having at least a thousand in the bank, financial aid disbursements every other month, and a pay check biweekly to being a single, pregnant, teen, struggling, and with only $0.27 to her name?
Starting in May of 2014 during my abusive relationship my bank accounts were robbed clean for seven months straight.
Financial Abuse: involves controlling a victim’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain financial resources. Those who are victimized financially may be prevented from working. They also may have their own money restricted or stolen by the abuser.
With over $1800 being deposited every month into my account I thought,
“lending him a few dollars here and there wouldn’t hurt.”
That turned into him asking for twenties, forties, hundreds, my pin number, and my bank information.
You may be wondering, what did he do with almost $2,000 each and every month?
Well, in taking my money he’d blow it on drugs, alcohol, counterfeit overpriced jewelry, lottery tickets, scratchers, and fast food.
Basically anything and everything that he wanted for himself.
Every single month.
All of which he’d openly flash on social media!
(of course never stating how the items were purchased on my behalf).
Since money was running thin every month I had to take a job… and then two.
Working two minimum wage jobs for a college student seems like a dream come true, yet for me it was a nightmare. I knew that after all the hours of working each minimum wage job per week, dealing with rude customers, angry managers, and gossiping co-workers, that I wouldn’t see a dime of what I’ve earned.
Every two weeks the $500 that I earned from both the jobs combined, disappeared within an instant.
How did I willingly “give away” so much money? One word, manipulation.
“I just need twenty bucks and I’ll pay it back to you” (never happened!)
“Well if you really loved me you’d give me $100.”
“What do you mean you don’t want to give me your pin number? You don’t trust me! You must be cheating on me!” (which often lead to the destruction of my things, physical violence, then the “I’m sorry” to make it all better again)
These are just a few of the many manipulation tactics my abuser would use to take my money until the point where he wouldn’t even have to ask, he’d just take it straight from the source: my debit card.
So, when I finally had the strength to leave him, he made sure to rob me blind before he left.
In order to overcome financial abuse you must save.
Creating a savings account as an adult is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your future.
Most of the time they are free and if you have a certain amount of money in them each month there won’t be any service charges. That’s how I was able to earn my money back from the ground up and continue to earn and save to this day.
Financial abuse is devastating and is just as hurtful as physical or emotional abuse.
Yes, lending a helping hand to someone is great every now and again but when they are forcefully taking your money you must call it quits! Whether that be in a relationship setting, a family member, or a so called “friend”.
You are not a walking ATM!
Resources to HELP if you’ve been a victim of financial abuse: