Poverty and Domestic Violence


Falling down the rabbit hole…

How do you take an “Economically Viable” member of society and systematically reduce them to poverty? Easy. Introduce them to Domestic Abuse and Violence.

A couple of days ago I did a contrasting view of my life before Domestic Violence and after Domestic Violence (DV) for my Urban Sociology class. I lived it and it still has me in awe. Many wonder what DV has to do with poverty in today’s society or how it would effect our social fabric. DV is something that happens behind closed doors right? At most, someone physically gets bruised up, maybe a hospital stay, or becomes publicly “shy”. There are many that feel that DV is isolated to the victim and the victim’s household. This is where lack of education and awareness plays a role in society’s general understanding of how far reaching its effects can be. DV reaches into every tax payer’s pocket book. If you pay taxes, take note.

Before I entered the lifestyle of DV I had; a paid off mini van of which I had been the only owner, a fully loaded Altima that I was making payments on, a 720 credit score, a good paying job with nice little perks running an office, credit cards with convenient limits, a nice wardrobe, a social life, and a good reputation as a community member. By the time I went into the emergency shelter my; mini van had been sold for $900,  Altima had been repossessed, credit score was 58 ( Is that possible???), I worked one day at Kmart down from a solid five, my credit cards were over the limit and had been cancelled, I was reduced to a fruit box of clothes, was isolated with no social life, and could not emotionally interact with the public. Living consistently between a level 4 and 5 stress level (5 being terror and crisis) was taking it’s tole on my emotional and physical health as well.

Q: What does that mean for the taxpayer and general member of society?

A: I now had to depend on public services in order to survive with no real hope of ever becoming an “economically viable” member of society as long as I stayed in DV.

I no longer had transportation and lived in a small town who’s largest thriving businesses were Kmart, Stater Bro., and Von’s. I used public transportation and qualified for government subsidized passes to use this transportation. My credit score was so low that I qualified for nothing except very limited government subsidized housing or squalor. The characteristics of DV caused me to be an unreliable employee so I was reduced to 1 day a week at a minimum wage job qualifying me for state funded cash aid. Without a wardrobe it is difficult to interview for, let alone maintain, a better paying job. Complete isolation limited my networking ability thus limiting my resources to public assistance for job development, health, and childcare needs. My health was declining which meant that it was difficult to maintain the stamina for being a reliable employee, a nurturing parent, or an emotionally stable member of society. This means I would need medical doctors and councilors in order to stabilize. With little to no income I would again have to rely on public assistance. This does not include the needs of my children that were also dependent on public assistance.

Domestic Violence is not isolated to the victim or the victim’s household. It effects the entire social system.poverty


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