Friday, October 24, 2014

Credit fraud as a tactic of domestic abuse

One of the problems faced by victims of domestic abuse is that they lack the finances to leave their abusive partner.  In many cases, the abuser sabotages their partner’s career.  Ophelia reports on this, quoting Lucy Green:

There are a number of ways an abuser can prevent a victim from holding a job. He may cause physical injuries to her face or body, so that she’s embarrassed to go to work. He may keep her from getting enough sleep, or show up at the workplace and harass the victim, disrupting her duties. He may refuse to provide child care, forcing the woman to stay home with the kids, or he might not allow the victim to have a car, depriving her of reliable transportation.

There’s a particular kind of terror in this type of abuse. Imagine knowing that your partner’s actions are aimed at blocking every chance you have to escape a their abuse.  Imagine seeing your options disappearing one by one. It’s a distressing thought and disturbingly common.  As Green notes, abusers are prepared to go to more chilling lengths still:

Another tactic that is becoming more common is identity fraud. The abuser may take out a credit card account in the victim’s name and pile up debt, destroying her credit rating.

So there’s no way for the victim to regain control of her finances.  No way for her to escape a lifetime of abuse.  Not even a way for her to have any sort of life outside the abuse.  I can only imagine the sense of helplessness. 

And yet there’s no shortage of helpful men lining up to ask women why they don’t just leave their abusers.

Ophelia again, quoting herself this time:

Dominance. Such a deep need for dominance. So destructive.

Destructive is right. These abusers are destroying people.

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