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Financial Education for Survivors of Domestic Violence

The American Institute for Economic Research is reprising its Money School financial education workshop for survivors of sexual assault.

The five-week program is offered in partnership with the Elizabeth Freeman Center, and is being held at two sites in Western Massachusetts. The program in North Adams is already underway, and the program in Pittsfield will begin next month.

The financial education workshop series covers topics like setting financial goals, making a budget, paying down debt, saving money and making investments. Those who complete the course will be provided with a $250 stipend, as well as free dinner, childcare, one-on-one financial coaches from local banks, as well as the opportunity to network with other resource providers in the community.

“Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault are often left struggling financially and can have low financial confidence,” said Nicole Kreisberg, senior research analyst at AIER, and manager of the program. The series, she said, will give women “a chance to take ownership over their finances and gain the confidence to prepare themselves financially and independently for the future.”

“Abuse often has a financial component,” said Becca Bradburd, director of operations at the Elizabeth Freeman Center.  “And financial abuse can be devastating – abusers may take their victims’ wages, destroy their credit, sabotage their professional careers, and denigrate their sense of worth.  We are excited about collaborating with AIER on a financial know-how series for survivors that is premised on an understanding of what it is like to have experienced financial abuse and that brings a lot of resources to the table for the participants.”

Money School is funded in part by Boston-based Rosie’s Place through the Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship. For more information, visit AIER’s Web site.

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