Financial dependence is a major factor causing victims to stay in abusive relationships. The Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence Economic Empowerment Center connects victims of domestic abuse to the services they need to help them regain self-sufficiency and financial freedom.

- Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, between 94-99% of domestic violence survivors have also experienced economic abuse, when an abuser takes control of or limits access to shared or individual assets or limit the current or future earning potential of the victim as a strategy of power and control. As a result of violence or abuse, victims may face:

  • Dependency on the abuser to provide for basic needs for her or her family.
  • Eviction and damaged tenant history due to law enforcement involvement.
  • Debt from healthcare, moving costs, the justice system, replacing property.
  • Damaged credit from abuser(s) trying to financially cripple the victim.
  • Unauthorized use of financial resources, falsification of records or coercion into crime.

The Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence Economic Empowerment Program team works to identify and address the economic and consumer law needs of its clients, to create the knowledge and partnerships necessary to effectively address these needs, and to develop a replicable program that can be duplicated across Maryland.

Economic Empowerment Activities include:

  • Consumer Law
  • Custody/Child Support
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Expungement
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Taxes
  • Mortgage
  • Motor Vehicle Administration Issues, including license acquisition
  • Foreclosure
  • Credit Counseling

Economic Empowerment Impact

During the first two years of EEC programming, the 168 enrolled clients experienced a total of $182,121 in benefits and savings and $16,483 in monthly child support and family maintenance. 100% of EEC participants reported experience improved family financial situation.

In 2018, the MSCFV Economic Empowerment Center was selected as one of five National Pilot Projects by the Center for Survivor Agency and Justice. The EEC team is now working to create and share the tools and trainings necessary to ensure that domestic violence victims across the United States have access to services that address financial abuse.