Category Archives: Think

Sales on Artisan-Made Zodiac Gifts

 

I really love the Zodiac ornament. The healing crystals for each zodiac sign are pretty cool, too! Going to have to check out these Black Friday sales on Etsy.

Do you guys believe in astrology?

Don’t worry. I’m expecting a firm “no.”

But I do think its fun to think about. Could the stars’ formation at the time of your birth have an impact on your life? If so, is there such a thing as free will or is everything up to fate?

I’ll let you think on that while you review your 100% Femme Frugality generated financial horoscope. Note that the description of your sign is a very loose amalgam of what I’ve read over the years, and that I cannot see into your financial future. Don’t make any money decisions based off of this.

It’s just supposed to be fun.

 

Black Friday Sales on Zodiac Gifts at Etsy

I have a little bit of an Etsy obsession. It’s one that I curb for sure, but it’s not easy.

What does make it a little bit easier this time of year is that I actually have to buy people presents and have money budgeted for that purpose. And there are sales.

That’s right. There are even holiday sales on Etsy. Like a lot of retailers, some individual artisans have chosen to extend their sales for the entire week. But you can expect to see even more come Friday.

The following gifts are at the intersection of, “Isn’t astrology cool to think about,” and, “I heart sales.”

Celestial Constellation Necklace

Delicate jewelry zodiac constellations

These necklaces from Mignon & Mignon aren’t just gorgeous—they’re also on sale and ship the next day. Triple win!

Currently, you can get a necklace for $13.95, though you can opt to add charms with engraved initials for personalization, too.

Sterling Silver Zodiac Charms

sterling silver zodiac charm

I studied astronomy in high school, so I’m inherently an expert on Greek mythology.

Yes, that was sarcasm.

One of the cool things we learned about was the origins of the concept of heaven and hell.

Some ancient peoples believed the Earth was inside a sphere of darkness illuminated during the day by the sun. Beyond that dark sphere was light immemorial. The constellations were actually punched out of the dark sphere by the gods’ will in order to either memorialize or entrap certain humans and creatures who had died.

So the stars weren’t actual matter. They were holes that allowed you a slight glimpse of that light. A glimpse of the heaven above us.

I’m loving that these necklaces pay homage to that world view–whether intentionally  or not.

You can get them from PoppiesBeadsnMore for just $6.44. She’s running a sale where you get 10% off your order if your total comes to $50+.

Zodiac Crystal Sets

Crystal sets for each zodiac sign.Dear Sister-in-Law,

I hope you’re not reading this post, because I fully plan on getting this for you for Christmas. It would ruin the surprise, and you’d know that I got it for 20% off at LovebyLunaCo.

Don’t worry. I know you’re not a Pisces. They have a different set for each zodiac sign.

Love,

Femme

Zodiac Scented Candles

zodiac scented candlesAffordable stocking stuffers customized to your giftee’s zodiac sign. And they’re currently 10% off.

If that’s not enough for you, you can also customize the scent of your Vibes & Co. candle. You get to pick from these options:

  • Eucalyptus Mint
  • White Linen Breeze
  • Sunflower Sage
  • Lavender Vanilla
  • Birthday Cake

Vintage Constellation Map

constellation art

I am totally nerding out on this one. I love the stories that were constructed around the arrangement of constellations. Like the constant battle between Orion and Scorpius that forbade them from being in the sky at the same time except for the briefest of moments.

Flip this retro chart over and you’ll be able to see the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere–which is completely different. Hailing from the year 1955, this one-of-a-kind item is currently 15% off from Antique Print Store.

Zodiac Sign Christmas Ornament

zodiac sign christmas ornaments

Gah, I can’t lie. These Christmas ornaments from Mooseberry Design Co aren’t on sale, but I really hope they will be over the weekend. Because <3.

Even in the worst case scenario of no sales, I feel like they’re fairly priced.

Your Zodiac Feedback

Does your personality match the loosely fabricated description on the quiz? Do you think your horoscope will come true?

Are you crushing on any of these items as hard as I am?

Let me know in the comments!

Gifts for Harry Potter Fanatics

Note: I have been compensated for the writing of this post. Regardless, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Totally crushing on these Harry Potter gifts. From Dumbledore to JK Rowling to Sirius Black quotes---swoon!

I was eleven years old when I was first introduced to Harry Potter. My friend was feverishly tearing through the pages.

I’ve always been a slow reader. Not a bad or disinterested reader. It’s actually an activity I’ve enjoyed and excelled at more than most other hobbies for as long as I can remember. But the length of the book intimidated me. I knew I’d never be able to keep up with my friend.

It wasn’t until months later that I finally picked it up. I was immediately enthralled. The pages kept turning at a break-neck pace. I was enchanted, but also a little discouraged that JK Rowling had the same idea for a witch school book as I did, and that she did it so much better than I could have dreamed.

Except I didn’t know JK Rowling was a she. Her identity remained mysteriously masked until a couple of years later. When I learned the reason she had kept her name and gender a secret was that her publishers didn’t want boys to stay away from reading the books’ great moral lessons, I thought for the first time that there might be something wrong with the way the world treated women.

Great the moral lessons were. The books will never be consistently taught in schools as they don’t follow a classical story arc, but the lessons were so powerful that studies show they may have cultivated the identifying trait of empathy we see in the vast majority of the millennial generation. Lord knows we need that empathy to battle the wave of prejudice that has entered our highest institutions in the years since we’ve become grown.

Finding My Place in the Wizarding World

I was recently talking with some friends who told me about Pottermore. It’s Rowling’s official site that sorts you into your house, gives you a patronus, and selects your wand.

I told them that every quiz I’ve ever taken puts me in House Slytherin. And that I’m always tempted to lie about it, but then don’t because that would further reinforce the fact that I’m a bad person.

So I took the quiz on Pottermore. And guess what? I can’t lie:

house slytherin

The result analysis showed me that not all people in Slytherin are bad. You can use your cunning, ambition, resourcefulness, determination and shrewdness to good ends. Which sounds like phooey until you remember that the sorting hat’s initial reaction was to put Harry himself into Slytherin.

So basically, I am Harry Potter sans the political influence to sway the sorting hat.

Or at least that’s how I sleep at night.

My Wand

Mr. Ollivander issued me a 10″ redwood wand of supple flexibility with a phoenix-feather core. Ten inches is pretty standard, but here’s what the rest of it means according to Pottermore.

Redwood

I’m able to ‘fall on my feet, make the right choice, and snatch advantage from catastrophe.’

Short-term, I’m hesitant to attribute these characteristics to myself because I live in a state of constant self-doubt, but when I look at my life as a whole–at the ebbs and flows of struggle versus strength–I can’t deny that this is true.

AI might just be putting the real Ollivander out of a job here.

Phoenix Feathers

Phoenix feathers are super rare. But the description of ‘showing initiative,’ ‘acting of their own accord’ and the fact that this is a quality that ‘many witches and wizards dislike’ also sounds about right when meshed in with the story of my life.

I’ve never been one to follow the crowd, and I’ve straight up lost a lot of popularity contests because of it.

The symbolism of intensely bursting into flames followed by a rebirth is not lost on me, either.

My Patronus

My patronus was a white swan. Which according to mugglenet.com (which is also a thing, apparently,) signifies:

  • Beauty
  • Grace
  • Loyalty (especially to your partner and kids)

While (inner) beauty and grace are something I aspire to, loyalty is the only thing I’m comfortable claiming at this particular moment in time.

But I think it’s super chill that my patronus will be there for me with all its beauty and grace when I need it.

Nerding Out for the Holidays with Harry Potter Gifts

I’ve obviously spent a lot of time reflecting on how Harry Potter has influenced my life lately. I’ve also been scouring the web for all those quotes I highlighted back in the day with a real highlighter because ebooks weren’t a thing. And images that remind me of the power of good over evil–even if you have to play the long game to log that win.

It turns out there are so many other nerds out there! One of my favorite collections that I’ve stumbled upon has been from Society6, which allows users to create designs on various different products.

This is my curation of favorites, but poke around the site a little more to find your own, too. Oh, and be sure to read all the way to the bottom to enter the giveaway–you could score a free or seriously reduced-priced gift for the Potter fan on your holiday list!

You can now use the promo code FEMME to save 25% off at Society6 through 12/31/17!

Dumbledore’s Magic Words Print

Because Dumbledore, Thomas Paine and I are all on the same page about the power of language, I’m all about this Giclee print. Also, the prints are super affordable.

The Four Founders Print

 Godric Gryffindor. Helga Hufflepuff. Rowena Ravenclaw. Salazar Slytherin.

Speaking of founding fathers, fifty percent of the founders of Hogwarts were female as displayed in this print.

#feminism

Sirius Black Quote Pillow

Sirius Black quote mourning

I believe in this truth so hard–especially when we continue telling our loved ones’ stories. If you’re looking for additional gifts for those who may be mourning, I highly suggest checking out The Midnight Orange.

That is, if this pillow alone isn’t powerful enough in its simplicity and truth.

Happiness Can Be Found Even in the Darkest of Times Throw Blanket

If only one remembers to turn on the light.

Society6’s throw blankets are crazy soft with sherpa fleece on one side and the printed image on the other. I feel like this gorgeous design could inspire me to set down the ice cream I just cuddled up with after a particularly depressing day.

Harry Potter Meets Starry Night Throw Blanket

throw blanket harry potter

At the intersection of fine art and magical, inspiring literature is this cozy blanket. Fan art at its best.

Anything’s Possible JK Rowling Quote Mug

JK Rowling quote coffee mug

I don’t like coffee (<—I’m literally giving away raffle entries below if you get that reference,) but I like to imagine that if I did, a mug like this with such a bad-a quote on it would get me amped up and ready to take on the day.

With the help of ample caffeine, of course.

Choices vs Abilities Harry Potter Coffee Mug

harry potter coffee mug

Same deal with this mug as the last. Our abilities are sometimes out of our control, but our choices aren’t. And our choices are ultimately what define us as people.

Now go make today the best decision making day ever.

-Your Coffee

I Solemnly Swear I am Up to No Good Comforter

harry potter comforter

*Giggle*

This one makes the list solely because I think nerdy double entendres are hilarious when executed consensually.

Hagrid Shower Curtain

harry potter gifts

Dude. I need this shower curtain in my life.

As a self-employed mother of young children who could perform her job from anywhere but chooses to do so in her PJs in the comfort of her living room, I could benefit from the constant reminder that while it’s good to have a good heart, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to freaking bathe yourself, too.

Also, Hagrid rocks.

Platform 9 3/4 Window Curtains

harry potter home decor

I love the symbolism behind these curtains–the idea that by stepping through some magical portal at just the right time, you can view a window into a magical world that no one else knows exist because they weren’t paying attention.

What is Right vs What is Easy Tote Bag

Harry Potter tote bag

I’ve talked before about how we’re living in a time when our morals are being put to the test. I never imagined I’d live in a time where the decision between these two extremes was so prominent. I thought we had collectively learned our lessons.

But I was wrong, and we all need to be constantly made aware of it. Displaying the reminder on a tote like this one seems like a fairly non-aggressive yet effective way to get the word out in the parts of our world which remain analog.

Sirius Black Quote Tote Bag

We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.

Last but not least, this bag brings us back to my Slytherin diagnosis.

Full circle, people. Full circle.

Society6 e-Gift Card Giveaway

Want to spend less on those Harry Potter holiday gifts?

It’s okay if you’re gifting to yourself. We don’t judge here.

Then be sure to enter the below giveaway for a $20 Society6 e-Gift Card! Entries are open through 12:00a Eastern on November 20, 2017.

Best of luck! Oh, and feel free to tell all your muggle friends about the giveaway, too. We’re giving them a pass. 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

The Silver Lining Behind My Debt

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition, Femme Frugality is running a series on the topic every Monday. This series includes a mixture of factual pieces and personal stories.

Today’s post is contributed by Michelle Bobrow–the Chief of Cha-Ching at The Holistic Wallet where she teaches the creatively-inclined how to manage their money with ease.

As a self-proclaimed recovering personal finance addict, Michelle focuses on money psychology to integrate healthy and balanced financial habits into our lives. Through strategic planning and mindful coaching, Michelle turns numbers into a work of art as she designs holistic budgets and sustainable systems for you to pay off your past, save for your future, and enjoy the present.

You can follow Michelle on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Please use the hashtag #DVAM2017 when sharing this article on social media.

Note: This post may contain triggers for survivors of abuse.

This woman is crazy strong to live through the abuse. Just goes to show debt isn't always evil.

Personal finance is so important to me because the factor of money is often what keeps us from pursuing truly autonomous and authentic lives. Personally, I’m no stranger to choosing financial stability over jumping into the unknown of my self-sufficiency.

But it was an abusive relationship that pushed me to make the leap. Running from my ex meant running into debt. Although this is frowned upon in personal finance circles, I can guarantee it was a safer option than staying in such a toxic relationship.

While I can certainly empathize how staying in an abusive relationship can seem like the only option at times – financial and otherwise – leaving such a relationship can be a positive move, even if you can’t immediately see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Today I write to you as a survivor of debt and domestic abuse and I would like to take this opportunity to share my story in the event that speaking my truth can help someone else.

Taking on Debt to Escape an Abusive Relationship

Earlier this year, I called off my engagement and moved 1,500 miles across the country to escape months of narcissistic abuse that had a devastating impact on my psychological health. I never understood quite how resilient the human spirit is until I summoned the courage to get out.

I’m still working on forgiving myself for letting that relationship go on for as long as it did, but leaving it was the greatest act of self-love and self-care I have ever committed. However, it didn’t have quite as positive of an impact on my financial health. (Well, not yet. It will pay off in the end because financial abuse is no joke either but that’s a story for another time.)

I am writing to you now with $5,566 of credit card debt and $2,813 of medical debt that I am scheduled to pay off in 18 months costing $479 in interest. With the interest-free credit options available to me, I assure you I’m getting off easy.

I’m sure there are plenty of ways I could have started this new chapter of my life more frugally – six separate households offered to take me in indefinitely and I lost count of all the hand-me-down furniture offers – but I accepted as many favors as I could stomach while also rebuilding my sense of independence and self-sufficiency.

Debt Bought My Freedom

Debt isn’t quite synonymous with freedom, but for me it most definitely is.

The debt I carry now is directly related to that traumatic period of my life. It is the cost of leaving and the cost of surviving. It is symbolic of being both a victim and a survivor. And because of that, I am proud of my debt.

See, in the months before I left, I thought I had to fake being happy until one of us died. Because there was no other way out. My life would be intolerable if I stood up to her and walked away.

Writing that seems petty now that I’m on the surviving side but I was so traumatized by my ex’s erratic behavior – the fear of the financial mess it would create, of the violent retaliation and public defamation, and of losing everything I had worked so hard for over the past several years – that I just didn’t think I was capable of watching it all come crashing down.

I Became My Own Hero

The break-up was just as messy and painful as I anticipated it would be but I got through it because I knew I had to prove to myself that I could be my own hero. And as someone who coaches women on economic empowerment, it would be hypocritical of me for financial matters to stand in the way of a healthy and safe life.

Let me be clear: If you don’t like where you are, you can leave. Your safety is more important than the price tag, the stigmas, and the messiness. I’ll never say that it is easy, but it is attainable. And we all deserve to be safe and to be treated with kindness.

NOTE: Before you make any moves, be sure to set a safety plan in place for your specific situation as leaving can be the most dangerous time—even if your partner hasn’t gotten physical to date. You can get help making this plan by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

I am writing this now with a HUGE bittersweet grin on my face because I have been the happiest and healthiest I have ever been in my entire life these past few months. I am very, very, very grateful I am here right now to experience this.

I don’t remember when it clicked, but now I see my debt as a trophy of survival. I make a $500 payment every month as my big middle finger to the stigmas of debt, domestic abuse, and psychological trauma.

Your Net Worth Does Not Define You

There are times when I feel like a fraud in my industry because I am simultaneously ashamed and proud of my debt. This industry still does a good job at debt-shaming which is ridiculous because our entire economy is built upon debt – businesses have it, banks have it, the government has it – but I digress.

I try to speak to myself as I would speak to anyone else who would come to me with a similar situation. And I said “Your story is not over yet. Your debt will not define you. This struggle will not be as permanent as death.”

Debt is not the end of the story.

Debt is not defeat. Debt can be resilience.

I can tell you this with certainty because I have debt and it feels like both a horribly traumatic mistake and a modern financial tool that has saved my life.

There is always something else on the other side of that debt or depleted savings. It does not appear out of nothing. Maybe it’s something tangible that you own like a couch or an education. Maybe it’s just a story, a lesson, or a personal growth experience.

That is not to say that my debt in the past wasn’t shameful, that a big number of negative dollars didn’t feel like it would follow me for as long as I lived, that I didn’t consider I was worth more dead than alive once I had life insurance.

Debt can feel like a heavy burden to drag along. Debt can represent a mistake, a bad call, a distressing period of your life. It can be another big thing you have to worry about when you’re already worrying about so much.

Whether it’s medical debt for a false alarm or a life-saving surgery, whether it’s a destructive shopping habit or daily life essentials on your credit cards, whether it’s a mortgage-sized amount of student loans for a degree you never used or one that led you to your dream job…

Whether that debt is your escape route out of a relationship that is destroying your mind, body, and soul…

Know this: You did what you had to do with the means and mindset available to you at the time. You are here now. And you are breathing.

Debt is Not Permanent

If your debt does not represent a personal triumph, if your debt is the trauma itself, I promise you it is not permanent. I promise you will have other wins. I can easily name 50 things I am grateful for now that I am still here to write this article.

I still cannot find the words to express how liberated I feel these days that I still have a voice. I am still afraid to use it at times, especially being a public figure on the internet, knowing my livelihood can be destroyed in a very public way and I will have no power to stop it.

But I have faced this beast before and I will let my body decide when my time is up before my mind does. I hope you continue to stand up to your beasts, too – debt or otherwise.

 

 

 

Related Domestic Abuse Content

To learn more about domestic violence or abuse, or to find more ways to get help, check out other articles in this series:

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including child abuse and economica abuse. This is Dr. Burke's story of overcoming identity theft as a survivor.

Economic Abuse: Silent Epidemic of Abused Children

Survivors of childhood abuse encounter unique challenges, even in the realm of economic abuse. Read Dr. Kenisha Burke's story of overcoming identity theft.

The Silver Lining Behind My Debt

There is a lot of stigma around debt. There is a lot of stigma around domestic abuse. But debt is a useful tool that can help you become a survivor.

8 Signs You May Be in an Abusive Relationship

Many abuse victims don't realize their relationship is unhealthy until it is too late. Here are red flags to watch for from a domestic violence survivor.

LGBTQ+ Intimate Partner Violence

Unique Economic Obstacles for LGBTQ+ IPV Survivors

While intimate partner violence happens at a comparable rate in the LGBTQ+ community, survivors face additional financial barriers.

long term effects of ptsd

The Long-Term Financial Effects of PTSD

PTSD affects combat veterans and survivors of domestic abuse alike. Learn what it can do to your finances, and what you can do about it.

Getting Help: LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Survivors

Domestic violence does happen in the LGBTQ+ community. Here's how to get help if you need it, and how society can better help survivors.

You could be the victim of financial abuse even if you're the primary breadwinner.

Financial Abuse: My Partner Nearly Drained Me Dry

Financial abuse doesn't just happen when a partner tries to limit your income; it can also happen when they try to take over the money you're bringing in.

8 Ways to Help Loved Ones in Abusive Relationships

Having a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship is hard. This article gives you tips to help from a domestic violence survivor.

Feeling trapped in a relationship because of money

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse is something many go through, but not all recognize it even as it's happening. Read on to learn how to identify this type of abuse.

Here's where you can find money to leave an abusive relationship.

I Have No Money: Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult, complex and nuanced. One major hurdle is finances. Lessen that problem with these resources and grants.

8 Signs You May Be in an Abusive Relationship

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition, Femme Frugality is running a series on the topic every Monday. This series includes a mixture of factual pieces and personal stories.

Today’s post is contributed by Laurie Blank–a successful freelance writer who spent many tough years surviving through two abusive relationships; one physically abusive relationship and one emotionally abusive relationship.

Through education and perseverance she has learned how to find her voice and set healthy boundaries that ensure others treat her with love and respect. You can find her blogging about faith, family and finances at LaurieBlank.com.

Please use the hashtag #DVAM2017 when sharing this article on social media.

Note: This post may contain triggers for survivors of abuse.

Saving for my sister. Signs you might be in an abuse relationship. Good things to look out for before things develop into violence.

When you think of domestic abuse, do you picture a man or woman being subjected to physical harm by a partner or spouse?

The truth about domestic violence is that it can take on many forms. Along with physical abuse, an abuser might also inflict harm on a partner by subjecting them to:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional neglect
  • Financial abuse
  • Manipulation and control tactics

Domestic abuse is about much more than the physical act of hitting, punching or shoving someone. Both men and women can be victims of domestic abuse, and both men and women can be abusers.

Often times domestic abuse is very subtle. What might come off as loving and protective is often abusive.

How can you know the difference and stop yourself from becoming a victim of domestic violence?

The first step is in recognizing abusive behaviors, no matter how subtle or masked those behaviors might be.

Here are eight things to watch for that might be signs that your partner is abusive:

1. Your partner is overprotective or jealous.

While on some level it might feel nice to have someone love you so intensely that he or she gets jealous of your other relationships, it’s not healthy for a partner to be jealous of people or interests in your life.

If your partner gets upset when you want to do things on your own or when you have your own interests, this could be a sign that things are at or heading toward an abusive level.

2. Your partner doesn’t like spending time with your family or friends, and doesn’t want you to, either.

Abusers often dominate their partners via isolation. Does your partner seem to not like any of your friends or family members? Does he or she get angry when you suggest attending family gatherings?

Do they insist you stop seeing your friends? All of these behaviors are signs that your partner may be trying to isolate you from people who might call out their abusive behavior if they recognize it.

3. Your partner exhibits controlling behaviors.

Abusers control their partners in a number of ways. An abuser may work to control:

  • Where you work
  • Who you hang out with
  • What types of activities you partake in
  • How the money in your relationship is managed

Or any other number of things in your life. Financial abuse is becoming increasingly common. A financial abuser may cut off their partner’s access to the family money or put them on a limited and unrealistic budget.

A financial abuser may also refuse to let their partner see bank, credit card and loan statements.

All of these types of control tactics are a means to keep you under emotional–and sometimes physical–lock and key. If your partner is exhibiting these types of behaviors it’s time to seek help.

4. Your partner has unrealistic expectations.

Abusers often have unrealistic expectations of a partner’s performance, appearance or time commitments.

An abuser may expect their partner to look perfect at all times, to keep a spotless house or to behave a certain way around outsiders.

5. Your partner doesn’t take responsibility for their actions.

Most abusers, when called out on their abusive behavior, are quick to blame other people or circumstances.

They might deny an incident or behavior altogether, or they might absolve themselves of responsibility for the behavior by blaming you, their job, their parents or whatever other convenient scapegoat they can come up with.

A healthy person not only acknowledges their own unhealthy behaviors; they seek to change them as well.

As an abused person, you might not be able to pinpoint exactly what the other person is doing, however you can notice a gradual change in your feelings. You might be struggling with feelings such as the three listed below.

6. You feel afraid to share your true feelings or “rock the boat.”

A person who’s been subjected to subtle forms of abuse might be afraid to talk with their partner about the behaviors that make them feel uncomfortable.

They might feel it’s their responsibility to do what is asked of them to avoid upsetting the apple cart. If you feel you can’t share uncomfortable feelings with your partner, something is wrong.

7. You feel you can’t be honest with your partner about the things you do.

Do you have to lie or hide information about what you do and who you are with out of fear of a negative reaction from your partner?

This might be a sign you’re in an abusive relationship. Healthy partners encourage their spouses to grow and improve themselves, and that includes having individual activities and having relationships with those outside of the marriage or partnership.

8. You are unhappy in your relationship, but feel powerless to do anything about it.

Are you unhappy in your relationship but are afraid to do anything to help improve it? This could be a sign that your partner is an abuser.

In healthy relationships, each partner feels free to talk about things that they would like to see changed or improved upon.

You should always feel comfortable going to your partner to suggest changes or improvements in your relationship as long as those changes are ones that will make your relationship healthier.

What to Do if You Are in an Abusive Relationship

If you think you might be in an abusive relationship, the time to get help is NOW. If the abuse is non-life threatening, you may be able to talk with your partner about going together for counseling.

If you are feeling afraid of your partner or if your partner has made it clear that you are in imminent danger you need to find a safe way to get out quickly without being noticed.

Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline to get professional help and advice about leaving. This is important because the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when you attempt to leave.

Even those who “only” enforce abuse via psychological or economic means will sometimes snap and turn violent when they can no longer exert psychological or financial control over you anymore.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you locate a local domestic violence shelter – or even connect you with your local police or sheriff if necessary – for immediate help with your situation.

Don’t allow yourself–or your children–to be abused any longer. Get help today and get started on living the life you deserve to live.

 

 

Related Domestic Abuse Content

To learn more about domestic violence or abuse, or to find more ways to get help, check out other articles in this series:

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including child abuse and economica abuse. This is Dr. Burke's story of overcoming identity theft as a survivor.

Economic Abuse: Silent Epidemic of Abused Children

Survivors of childhood abuse encounter unique challenges, even in the realm of economic abuse. Read Dr. Kenisha Burke's story of overcoming identity theft.

The Silver Lining Behind My Debt

There is a lot of stigma around debt. There is a lot of stigma around domestic abuse. But debt is a useful tool that can help you become a survivor.

8 Signs You May Be in an Abusive Relationship

Many abuse victims don't realize their relationship is unhealthy until it is too late. Here are red flags to watch for from a domestic violence survivor.

LGBTQ+ Intimate Partner Violence

Unique Economic Obstacles for LGBTQ+ IPV Survivors

While intimate partner violence happens at a comparable rate in the LGBTQ+ community, survivors face additional financial barriers.

long term effects of ptsd

The Long-Term Financial Effects of PTSD

PTSD affects combat veterans and survivors of domestic abuse alike. Learn what it can do to your finances, and what you can do about it.

Getting Help: LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Survivors

Domestic violence does happen in the LGBTQ+ community. Here's how to get help if you need it, and how society can better help survivors.

You could be the victim of financial abuse even if you're the primary breadwinner.

Financial Abuse: My Partner Nearly Drained Me Dry

Financial abuse doesn't just happen when a partner tries to limit your income; it can also happen when they try to take over the money you're bringing in.

8 Ways to Help Loved Ones in Abusive Relationships

Having a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship is hard. This article gives you tips to help from a domestic violence survivor.

Feeling trapped in a relationship because of money

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse is something many go through, but not all recognize it even as it's happening. Read on to learn how to identify this type of abuse.

Here's where you can find money to leave an abusive relationship.

I Have No Money: Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult, complex and nuanced. One major hurdle is finances. Lessen that problem with these resources and grants.

Unique Economic Obstacles for LGBTQ+ IPV Survivors

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition, Femme Frugality is running a series on the topic every Monday. This series will include a mixture of factual pieces and personal stories.

Please use the hashtag #DVAM2017 when sharing this article on social media.

Note: This post may contain triggers for survivors of abuse.

I didn't know intimate partner violence happened at the same rate in the LGBT community. These added hurdles are so messed up, too. Why are there not protections?

 

Over 35% of American women have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV.) While violence isn’t a prerequisite for financial abuse, when physical or sexual abuse is present, 94%-99% of the time, financial abuse comes along with it.

When we think of of abuse, we typically think of women in relationships with men. We assume these women are heterosexual, even though they may fall on a different point of the spectrum of sexual orientation. For example, bisexual women or pansexual women may be in a relationship that appears to meet our cultural perception of heteronormativity.

But abuse doesn’t just happen in 1:1, male:female relationships. In fact, it has a comparable rate of occurence in LGBTQ+ relationships to heterosexual relationships.

Financial abuse is a problem here, too. In fact, there are additional forms of abuse LGBTQ+ individuals are subject to. These abuses affect their personal finances in real and potentially devastating ways.

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is when your partner attempts to entrap  you in a relationship by robbing you of your economic power. Abuse in all its forms is a way to assert control.

Your partner doesn’t have to be the primary breadwinner to pursue financial abuse. You can be bringing in the money and still be robbed of your control–and therefore your ability to leave.

To learn more about financial abuse, read this article.

Prejudices against the LGBTQ+ Community

We have come a long way in our country towards equal rights for some parts of the LGBTQ+ community. But we still have a very long way to go.

We hold prejudices we don’t even think about as we go about our day-to-day lives. We systemically oppress and allow these prejudices to influence policies and laws. This behavior is dangerous at all times, but it has a particularly pronounced effect on LGBTQ+ survivors.

Heteronormativity

Andi Tremonte, advocate with OUTreach Utah, defines heteronormativity as, “the assumption, in individuals or institutions, that everyone is heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is superior to homosexuality or bisexuality.”

Heteronormativity has real impacts on employees in the workplace–whether or not they are in an abusive relationship.

Heteronormativity gives birth to homophobia, which Tremonte describes as, “the irrational fear of homosexuals, homosexuality, or any behavior, belief or attitude of self or others, which does not conform to rigid stereotypes for relationships and attraction.”

Cisnormativity

For as hard of a time as our culture has denouncing heteronormativity, we have an even harder time distancing ourselves from cisnormativity.

Tremonte defines cisnormativity as, “the assumption, in individuals or institutions, that everyone is cisgender, and that being cisgender is superior to being trans.”

Cisgender simply means that you express the gender you were assigned at birth in a way that is viewed as acceptable to our society.

The thing is, gender expression is a spectrum, too. In fact, Tremonte notes that you’ll find a wide array of identities and expressions when you look at the trans community.

Cisnormativity can lead to transphobia, which Tremonte says is, “the irrational fear of trans people, transgenderism, or any behavior, belief or attitude of self or others, which does not conform to rigid sex and gender-role stereotypes.”

He also notes that the occurrence rate of domestic violence is higher for trans people in general, and even higher for trans women of color.

Financial Impacts of Heteronormativity and Cisnormativity on Survivors

Heteronormativity and cisnormativity in and of themselves inflict financial oppression. In states without appropriate Non-Discrimination Acts (NDAs,) workers can be fired simply because their boss thinks they may fall outside of heteronormative or cisnormative cultural expectations.

Only thirty-three states have some measure of employment protections based on sexual orientation. Even fewer extend these protections based on gender identity.

This map shows which states do–and don’t–have protective employment laws based on orientation or identity:


Employment isn’t the only area of concern, though. There are separate NDAs–or lack thereof–for the following areas, too:

  • Housing
  • Hate crimes
  • Access to healthcare
  • Access to education
  • Public accommodations

Because it is legal to discriminate in these areas in some states based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, you can run into some really serious financial problems if you are outed.

Tremonte notes that especially for trans individuals, it goes beyond finances: being outed can be the difference between life and death.

Cultural and Identity Abuse

LGBTQ+ survivors face unique types of abuse that heterosexual and cisgender survivors typically do not: cultural abuse and identity abuse.

One way these types of abuse manifest is when someone threatens to out you. They may out you for being gay, for being transgender, for being HIV+, etc.

Those who aren’t LGBTQ+ can face these types of abuse as they relate to religious practice or immigration status.

Cultural and identity abuse leak into so many areas of your life–including your personal finances. Because of the country’s generally weak stance on protective NDA laws, being a victim of cultural or identity abuse has the very real potential of making you permanently unemployable, homeless, or–as Tremonte pointed out–dead.

He also notes that a lack of NDAs are not just a concern for the LGBTQ+ community; if you are simply thought to be outside the bounds of heteronormative or cisnormative biases, you can face the same consequences.

Let’s take a minute to do an exercise.

Here I want to pause. I want you, regardless of your orientation or identity, but especially if you meet heternomative or cisnormative expectations, to do the following three things:

  1. Think about what you would do if you were legally denied housing, employment, education and/or healthcare because of something you can’t change.
    What would you do for shelter?
    For money?
  2. Now, think about your preconceived notions about those who are of a different orientation or identity than yourself. Those prejudices that you may never say aloud, but still have trouble combating in your head.
    Do you see why they might exist after having performed step one?
    Do you see how these prejudices exist not based on anyone’s morality or work ethic, but because of the oppression our society inflicts?
  3. Now, think about how you see domestic violence survivors in general.
    Do you see why it might be hard to leave a relationship?
    Do you see why threatening to out someone can be a very effective form of manipulation?
    Do you see why some people in abusive relationships choose to stay–and that their decision may make them practical rather than weak?

What You Can Do About It

All of this can feel extremely overwhelming. But there are things you can do to help make the situation better.

Survivors: Know That You Have Rights

Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult for anyone, but when you’re not an apparently straight woman, things get even harder. There is limited shelter for men, and prejudices have historically made it difficult for LGBTQ+ women to get the help they need.

However, in 2013, the Violence Against Women Act was updated to provide more protection to the LGBTQ+ community. You can read about the updates here.

Voice Your Support to Your Legislators

Ideally, we would have clear and concise federal legislation that point blank protected the LGBTQ+ community from any discrimination. This would protect all Americans rather than just Americans in a select few states.

Until that day, we still need to keep putting pressure on our state legislators to do the right thing locally.

Write to or call your legislators to let them know you want to see stronger protective laws for the LGBTQ+ community. You can find out who your legislators are here.

Type in your address to find those that represent you at the federal level.

Select your state from the map to see the legislators that affect state laws where you live.

Change the Culture

Gay marriage was only achieved after decades of advocacy from the LGBTQ+ community. When the Supreme Court was finally convinced that American public opinion had shifted, equal rights in one realm were realized.

But we still have a long way to go, and equal rights in other realms are still out of reach. You have a voice. Use it.

When you see heteronormativity or cisnormativity in action, call it out. It doesn’t matter where you notice it–at work, around the dinner table, or coming out of your own mouth. Things are not going to change, and LGBTQ+ survivors will continue to face additional barriers in leaving abusive relationships, until we change public opinion and therefore legislation.

 

 

 Related Domestic Abuse Content

To learn more about domestic violence or abuse, or to find more ways to get help, check out other articles in this series:

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including child abuse and economica abuse. This is Dr. Burke's story of overcoming identity theft as a survivor.

Economic Abuse: Silent Epidemic of Abused Children

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8 Signs You May Be in an Abusive Relationship

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Unique Economic Obstacles for LGBTQ+ IPV Survivors

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Financial abuse is something many go through, but not all recognize it even as it's happening. Read on to learn how to identify this type of abuse.

Here's where you can find money to leave an abusive relationship.

I Have No Money: Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult, complex and nuanced. One major hurdle is finances. Lessen that problem with these resources and grants.