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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.

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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Are You Facing Financial Abuse?

by Gina Hill

Elder financial abuse is unfortunately too common. According to a study done by MetLife, a million American seniors lose about $2.6 billion each year. Financial exploitation happens to seniors from all walks of life; even celebrities such as Mickey Rooney were not immune. Most people think that elder financial exploitation is done by strangers, but most cases occur at the hands of relatives and caregivers.

Crossing the Line From Nurturing into Exploitation

As a parent, you feel responsible for your children's well-being, including economic matters. Some children encourage these instincts, while some become self-sufficient rather quickly. The main danger is when one of your children turns his or her subtle pleas for money into blatant exploitation. Some adult children use fear and guilt tactics to exploit grandparents and other older family members, while others use extra flattery and attentiveness to get what they want. At best, these tactics are exploitative, and at worst, they are downright criminal.

Billions are Lost in Exploitation Cases

Financial abuse is often underreported, but it is very common. Roughly one in ten seniors is exploited in some way, according to the Elder Financial Protection Network. The study referenced above says that 55% of financial mistreatment in the US is done by friends, caregivers and relatives, with the typical victim being a white woman between 70 and 89. Abuse can take many forms, from forgery to outright theft, and you should learn to recognize when you may be being exploited.

Elder Abuse: Victim Profiles

If someone you love, know and trust is exploiting you economically, you are in a financially abusive situation. Use the following profiles:

  • If an adult child runs up hefty bills in your name and does other things to damage your credit rating, you're being exploited. The person may pressure you to make purchases you might not necessarily want.
  • If you're related to someone who's always coming to you with a story about losing a job, divorcing or facing a foreclosure, you may need to watch your finances more closely.
  • If your family members constantly come to you for money, and forget to repay it, you may be the victim of financial exploitation.

How to Stop Financial Abuse

If any of the above scenarios describes you, tell someone right away, such as Cormac McEnery. A financial abuser relies on your silence to hide his or her crimes. If you suspect that you're being financially exploited, you can also contact local authorities. The Department of Health and Human Services also has an online service and a hotline number (800-677-1116) you can call to get connected to local support services. Above all, remember that you have a right to decline requests for financial support. It's your financial future, and you have the final word.

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