At the core of the mission of Grown Zone Relationship Education is not only helping you to recognize and establish healthy, loving relationships, but to recognize and avoid dangerous, unhealthy ones. Helping people to avoid relationships that lead to domestic abuse and intimate partner violence, in particular, is a key priority of the Grown Zone.

Most people think of domestic or intimate partner violence in physical terms. However, there are other recognizable forms of abuse that can be predictors of the potential for physical violence in a relationship. These forms of abuse include verbal, emotional, and financial violence. Recognizing these predictive patterns of behavior early while still getting to know someone is critical in avoiding abusive relationships.

Just as with verbal, physical or emotional abuse, financial violence is about using money to hurt, isolate, punish, demean and/or control the thoughts, movements, associations and esteem of another person. Because a person’s relationship with money is often a reflection of a person’s sense of self-esteem, power, and control, signs of a financial abuser can actually be spotted relatively early on in relationships, long before physical abuse becomes apparent. Unfortunately, because of our reluctance to address financial habits and behaviors in relationships, typically acts of financial violence are overlooked or dismissed.

Protecting your finances—as well as your emotional health and physical safety—means vigilantly watching for signs of financially abusive behaviors in a relationship.

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