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11/27/2012 - Three financial strategies to help victims of abusive relationships

CDC says there are certain steps victims of abuse should take to start over financially.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in four women have experienced abuse from an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. While these instances are tragic and disturbing, the encouraging news is that many women are able to escape these conditions and start a better life on their own.

With this in mind, the Insurance Information Institute recently provided tips for some of the ways these victims can start over from a standpoint of finances.

"The financial cost of leaving an abusive partner can be crushing," said Loretta Worters, vice president of the III. "Once you decide to leave your partner, you may be solely responsible for providing for yourself and your family and insurance can play a critical role in gaining your financial freedom and self-sufficiency."

1. Protect all identification records. One of the first things that should be taken care of is one's financial records. The III says it's important that birth certificates, drivers licenses, passports bank accounts and credit card information be secured, which can be done by entrusting them with a family member or by renting out a safety deposit box at a bank or other financial institution.

2. Talk to a financial expert if inexperienced. Similarly, something else to be fully aware of is where one stands financially. After leaving a significant other, victims may not have a full understanding of where their finances stand, especially if the person they left handled the bills. This makes it important to reach out to a financial advisor who may be able to be of some assistance in determining which bills should be paid first.

3. Address any insurance issues. The last thing people may think of after leaving an abusive relationship is insurance, but the III says this is an important matter to address. For instance, if an auto insurance policy was shared, individuals will want to get in touch with their provider so that they can be made the sole policyholder. This will prevent them from any liability issues that could be tied back to them if their partner does something that ultimately leads to a claim.

For other financial strategies, click here

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