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In recent years, DCADV has expanded its policy and systems advocacy work to include economic justice advocacy as critical for victims in abusive relationships. DCADV provides economic justice training, technical assistance, identifies community resources, and participates in community committees and task forces that focus on economic justice issues. DCADV believes that this work is vital to the ability of domestic violence victims to be safe and to be financially independent.
Financial abuse occurs in 98 percent of abusive relationships and is the reason 7 out of 8 victims return to abusive relationships. Economic abuse forces women to choose between staying in an abusive relationship or face poverty and/or homelessness.
Economic abuse involves behaviors that control a woman’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain economic resources, thus threatening her economic security and ability to be self-sufficient. Learn more about Economic Abuse.
A grant from the Fund For Women in 2006 began DCADV’s work in economic justice and financial literacy with DCADV’s “Savings for Safety” program. To continue this work, Allstate Foundation funding in 2009 enabled DCADV to provide technical support and to train advocates throughout the state on the Allstate Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum. Advocates utilize this curriculum in their work with victims and survivors. The Coalition’s economic advocacy work expanded in 2009 with support from federal Recovery Act funding. This funding empowered DCADV to dedicate a staff person to serve as an economic justice liaison to member programs, victim service staff and others and to help advocates improve economic justice skills and build resources in the area of economic and financial literacy.
Additional Allstate funding supported an innovative program involving DCADV and the SAFE and Abriendo Puertas shelter programs at People’s Place. This program, called Women in Charge, provides training on the Allstate Financial Management curriculum to survivors, runs credit reports/scores, helps establish savings goals, assists with opening savings accounts, offers incentives for saving, and provides a matching funds program.
Funding from BlackRock in 2011 allowed DCADV to continue this work, including continuing to provide training and ongoing technical support for the program at People’s Place and to help support their ongoing training and support of survivors.
Domestic violence affects victims in every arena of their lives, including the workplace. At one time, employers may have thought of domestic violence as something that was not their concern, a "private family matter" that should not be brought to work. As societal awareness of domestic violence has grown in recent years, however, employers and labor organizations now realize that domestic violence affects people in the workplace in many ways that have a direct bearing on productivity and effectiveness. As a result, employers are starting to seek help in developing policies and programs to deal with the human resources issues, workplace safety and security, and employee training and education needs raised by domestic violence.
In 2000, Delaware was among one of 14 states selected by the Family Violence Prevention Fund to participate in the development of a national strategy to address domestic violence in the workplace. More than two dozen representatives of Delaware's major private and public employers, small businesses, law enforcement, chambers of commerce, organized labor, human resources and nonprofit service agencies came together to develop a comprehensive strategy aimed at assisting every workplace statewide in addressing domestic violence and the workplace. Membership in this Corporate Citizen Initiative was diverse and represented a broad cross-section of those constituencies that have key roles in combating domestic violence, both rural and urban, upstate and downstate.
The group's mission was to: Develop and share best practices, resources, and educate the public on domestic violence and workplace issues; foster cooperation and partnership between businesses, domestic violence victim advocates, services, and agencies; and bridge the gap between employers and employees by providing employers with training resource materials.
The Corporate Citizenship Initiative, in collaboration with the Family Violence Prevention Fund, developed a Model Domestic Violence Policy, which may be adopted as a unified domestic violence policy or its component parts may be integrated into already existing related policies and or guidelines. View the Model Domestic Violence Policy.
In 2010, DCADV worked successfully with Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s office to help develop a state domestic violence workplace policy. Upon implementation, DCADV staff trained human resource managers charged with carrying out this policy, which aims to protect state employees from domestic violence.
DCADV provides technical assistance to state welfare staff to help ensure that victims eligible for benefits receive appropriate assistance and resources.