February 03, 2019
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In this episode, Suze tells a powerful and heartbreaking story of a women she met on vacation and how this woman lost everything as a result of financial abuse.
I'm Suze Orman. Today, I want to talk about financial abuse. Now I am very aware that in Season 1, one of the ending shows I did was all about financial abuse. But I really still need to talk about it. And I need to talk about it because more and more as I've been talking about it, I'm realizing how many women are actually suffering from financial abuse. And do you even know what that is? I know very well that you are probably familiar with physical abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, whatever it may be. It has a black and blue mark. Oh, I've been physically abused. But what is financial abuse? So let me just start there before I start ranting and raving about it. Financial abuse is when you do not have any access to any money in any way within the relationship that you may be in. So here you are, you're in a relationship. It was so great, you might even be the wage earner. And very shortly after you're in this relationship you're now living together, maybe you've even gotten married. Your credit cards had been maxed out by your partner. Now you can't have any credit cards. All the money in your savings accounts and emergency funds, oh they've been wiped clean. All spent by your partner. You can't keep any of the money that you bring home, because that check goes directly to your partner. You can't talk to anybody about what's going on in your life, because you have been told not to tell a soul. And little, by little you have been cut off from every possible relationship. The relationship with your parents, the relationship with your friends, so that you really can't tell people what's going on. And now you're trapped. You're financially trapped in this relationship that you continue to stay in, because you think this love. You think you can change him or her. You think that you can do what's needed, so that you can be okay. But then all of a sudden you find that financial abuse also goes into physical abuse. And now you're stuck because you don't have the money to leave. Do you know that one out of four women in the United States of America suffer from financial abuse? Maybe you're not in a relationship where you're being financially abused, but I know I know you know at least one woman, two women, three women who are in relationships who are being financially abused. One out of four women in the United States of America are in a financially abusive relationship. Let's just compare that to breast cancer. One out of eight women suffer from breast cancer. Do you think we have a little problem here? Of course we do. So why am I on this rampage about it? Because for a long time now, I've been wanting to help women who are being financially abused. Just to do it. And not to make money off it, not any of that crap. But just to say we can change this. And it seems like wherever I am going, people are telling me stories that are just heartbreaking. I'll tell you one that was heartbreaking for me. Four years ago I went to a spa. And I was on a little vacation with KT, I had this massage therapist who was fabulous. But when I'm getting a massage, I'm always so interested about the you know person giving me a massage. How are they doing with their money, maybe I can help them, given the fact that I'm on their table, and who knows where it could go from there. But I always really love to know about them, as well as they like to get to know me. And four years ago this woman was telling me how great she was doing, she had just gotten in this relationship, and she fell in love and she got married, and she was doing so great, and she was making great money at this spa, and so we developed a savings program for her. And how she was gonna start this retirement account, and all these things she was going to invest in, and I was just so happy for her. Fast forward four years. Now I go back with KT to the same spot, and I loved my services with her so I just asked for her not thinking she would still be there, but no, she was still there. And now I'm in her massage room again, and I'm so curious to know how much money has she saved. Oh my God, what did her Roth IRA, you know we gave her stocks, I gave her stocks and they all skyrocketed, and I was just so excited. And she says to me Suze, I don't have any money. I said well how is that possible? And she said well you know that relationship that I told you that I had gotten in? Well, very shortly after you were here, things started to change. All the money and available credit that I had on my credit cards were used up. The money that I had in my savings account was all gone. He took everything. Every paycheck that I brought home. He demanded that I would give to him while he just stayed at home and did nothing. And I'm like, how is that possible? Why would you do that? You are a strong woman. It's not like you know, there's your little weak woman, you sit here, and you give massages, and you're strong, you're six ft tall, and you've got muscles and it's like you have strength on the outside. How is it possible that you could be so weak on the inside? And she said Suze, I don't know. I don't know. And then it went from a financial abuse that I didn’t even know I was being abused. But it went from this financial situation to where he physically started to abuse me and Suze, I used to have fantasies that I was going to be a headline in a newspaper that I was going to be killed by him. And I'm like, you're kidding me. I said, and why did you finally leave? And she said I finally left because one day he beat me so bad that for three days I could not get up off the floor. And I didn't want my daughter to see this. And I was afraid of what would happen to her. And so, you know, I just asked him to leave Suze. And he did. Thinking that I would beg him to come back. And when I didn't beg him to come back, then it got dangerous. Because then he would show up. And we would go through it again, and it never changed. But I knew after that one time, that I would have to leave him. Now, so sad. So sad because this was a strong woman. And whenever I hear these stories, I just don't even know what to do with them because I'm like, but can't you see this is happening? You're a smart woman, you're making money, it's your money, and you've trapped yourself all because of why? I loved him, Suze. I thought I could change him. It was I had married him, all these things. So we have got to stop this. Because the stats are just devastating. So are you in an abusive relationship? Does any of this sound familiar? Do you know somebody who is in an abusive relationship, but yet they don't have the voice or the power to say anything. Women, we have got to have a voice. We have got to not be afraid to speak that voice. How can you be a woman and have money if you don't have any self-worth? Because if you don't have any self-worth and how could you possibly have self-worth if you're allowing yourself on any level to be abused, that if you don't have self-worth, there is no way you can have net worth, because as you know, on the Suze Orman show, I firmly believe that you and your money are one. What happens to you, happens to your money. If you are not respecting yourself, your money will go away. And so on, and so forth. But you know that you know how I feel about that. Where do you go to get help? You might want to go to thehotline.org. That is the website of the national domestic violence hotline. They can help you there. You could also go to Purple Purse, Serena Williams happens to be currently the spokesperson for Purple Purse that deals with financial abuse. But somehow you have got to reach out, and you have got to stop ignoring the facts of, is this going on in your life? It is your birthright to have your own checking account, your own credit cards, your own emergency fund, your own retirement account, your own investment account, things in your name. It is your birthright to be autonomous when it comes to money. That doesn't mean that you don't share with the person you love. But of course you want to be self-sufficient. KT is self-sufficient, I am self-sufficient. We have things that we share, but if anything happened to either one of us, the other one would be absolutely okay. You've got to make sure that your relationship is set up that way. And if it is not, then you are being financially abusive to yourself. And that's something that you really can stop. Because that, you can control. Maybe you can't control the actions of somebody else. You can only control, do you leave? Do you stay? What do you do? But you can make the decision right here and right now to be the strong, smart and secure woman that you were born to be. Sarah. Wow Suze. We've talked about this a lot you and I, and it is a big powerful topic, and I think one that a lot of people don't even recognize as you said. So I think what we all need to do um, what I certainly need to do is think about this, and think about how this is impacting me and my life, and maybe people I know, to and really just reflect on what you've shared. So instead of you and I discussing it on the show right now today on Sunday, why don't we invite the women listening to give us a call or send us an email, share their stories, ask questions, and then on Thursday you and I can have a discussion on what we hear back and what, what the women that are part of our community want to talk about. So you can leave us a voicemail at 1-877-545-SUZE. Or send an email to email@example.com. Again, that's 877-545-SUZE to leave us a voicemail, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Okay, Suze, I think that's a wrap.
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