Rhonda’s piece of advice for women:  Be aware of what is happening to you. Be prepared. Don’t get in a situation where you can’t take care of yourself.


Women Breaking Free:
Stories of Strength from Survivors of Domestic Violence

A video series featuring Suze Orman, author, Women & Money

Standing in Their Power

Released in time for October Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Suze Orman, Emmy Award-winning television host, motivational speaker and author, sits down with survivors of domestic violence to talk about one of the least discussed forms of abuse, financial abuse. In this seven part video series, we hear from incredibly brave women who share intimate details of abuse with the hope that by sharing their experience they will help change someone else’s life.  Orman, author of Women & Money, provides advice and insights that will help all women become strong, smart and secure.

The series of 10 – 14 minute videos is designed to raise awareness of the signs of financial abuse for both victims, as well as friends and family members of victims, and to provide tips to overcome it. Financial abuse can have the most devastating and long-lasting impact on the lives of survivors and their families. You’ll hear stories that include abusers who control their partner’s spending habits, preventing a partner from accessing bank accounts and keeping a partner from having a credit card.

You will feel inspired by the women’s courage and strength as they share stories of their abusive relationships and how they broke free.  The series was produced by The Hotline, with funding from the Avon Foundation for Women and Avon.  #WomenBreakingFree

Remember, each type of abuse is serious, and no one deserves to experience abuse of any kind, for any reason. If you have concerns about what’s happening in your relationship, contact us. We’re here to listen and support you!

Special thanks Urban Resource Institute of NY for their partnership in the production of this series.

Warning: Some of the stories shared in these videos could be disturbing to hear.

Rhonda is a 62-year-old AVON representative who is a mother and wife who divorced an abusive husband of 23 years. She has now been married to a “good man” for the past 16 years.

In her prior marriage she experienced emotional, verbal, financial, physical, and sexual abuse. During this time she was in control of the finances at first, but was made to feel that there was never enough money for her to buy things she needed or wanted. He spent money on himself and on his hobbies like classic cars and hunting dogs. He was a pastor and youth leader, she was his helper. He received a salary for his work however she did not. She says even though people thought they had a perfect marriage, she says the physical abuse started right away. At first it wasn’t intense, but it gradually got worse. He beat her and told her he would kill her parents.

They got counseling and he stopped physically abusing her but the emotional, verbal and financial abuse continued until their divorce when he closed all of their accounts and credit cards and told her she had two weeks to get out.  During the marriage and when she started AVON, he belittled her and said that she was never going to make it, would never make any money at it and that she was spending all of HIS money on AVON. None of this was true.

She says he forced her to have sex with him every day. When she didn’t want to, he accused her of cheating. At one point he held a gun to her head and cocked it. She felt she was always walking on eggshells around him.

She stayed in this abusive marriage much longer than she should have, she says, because she believed in marriage and had a strong Christian background. She was also living in the “Bible belt” where divorce is frowned upon. Today, she is doing very well living the life of her dreams through her work with Avon.

Rhonda’s piece of advice for women:  Be aware of what is happening to you. Be prepared. Don’t get in a situation where you can’t take care of yourself.

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