Guest Blog 7: “Reinvent Your Life After Domestic Violence With Mental and Economic Empowerment” By: Seneca Williams, LMHC

Reinvent your life after domestic violence, with mental and economic empowerment.

When people ask, why doesn’t (she/he) just leave, it’s not so easy, when you’re financially dependent on someone. 

Domestic violence includes physical abuse, mental abuse and financial abuse. 

When you are not working or literally living check to check, it’s hard to “run away” or “just start over” as some assume you can do. 

As a therapist, it is important for me to empower my clients mental health, so they believe they are capable, qualified and equipped to elevate their life. 

We focus on building their mind, their career and their lifestyle. 

Economic dependency on a domestic partner is linked to more severe domestic violence. Women’s economic status is linked to domestic violence in 3 major ways.

 1. Although domestic violence occurs across socioeconomic classes, poorer women are more likely to be survivors of domestic abuse than wealthier women, both due to contextual (e.g. neighborhood) and individual (e.g. male employment instability) factors.

 2. Women who are economically dependent on their abusers have more difficulty leaving and are more likely to return to abusive partners. 

3. The degree of women’s economic dependence on an abuser is associated with the severity of the abuse they suffer. 

Knowledge is your power

The two most important things in your life that no one can take away from you are mental health and education. When you strive to educate yourself and pursue better employment or even start a business, you can improve your opportunities. 

I learned that my peace of mind, my freedom and safety are not worth staying in an abusive relationship for any reason, not for the kids and not for money.  

Getting an education and career in order to be independent was important, so I would never have to become a victim or feel trapped in a home with an abusive partner.

Reinvent yourself to reclaim your life.

Reinventing your life means seeking therapy, to retrain your brain. Unlearning the unhealthy love patterns, you may have learned growing up. Learning new healthy behaviors. 

Start reading books and listening to positive things, like podcasts, shows, videos. 

We are emotionally wired to love familiar things, even when it is dysfunctional or dangerous. 

Sometimes it feels hard or scary to reinvent yourself, but it requires practice and patience. 

What can you do to reinvent your life? What groups can you attend? Who are positive supportive people?

Reclaim your life

Reclaiming your life begins with one decision: “I will do better.” Do whatever will give you control over your own story.

How can you improve your economic situation? Can you learn a new skill? Take a free course? Maybe enroll in school or a training program?

When you improve your financial situation, you have options. Options empower you to make better decisions for your mental health, your life, career and your children’s life. 

Seneca Williams, LMHC

Seneca Williams,  LMHC is an online therapist in Florida and New York. You can follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook as @askcoachsen or www.senecawilliams.com

Source:1. https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/financialseries/files/2012/02/Financial-Capability-and-Domestic-Violence.pdf

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