Breaking the cycle of poverty and abuse

How are poverty and abuse linked? It’s not uncommon for people to stay in abusive situations because they rely on their abuser financially. This is why it’s important for people, especially women, to work towards being financially independent. Here’s how we can break the cycle of abuse and poverty in our own communities.

Strive for independence

Being independent doesn’t mean being rich, it simply means being able to afford your own basic needs and wants. While this may be difficult while you’re in school, it is possible for you when you complete your education and work towards finding work or starting your own business, no matter how small.

Invest in education

Focusing on your education will help you reach your career goals and give you a better chance at finding work so that you can be financially independent and provide for yourself. If you do have the opportunity to study further after high school, I encourage you to take it. If your partner or anyone else tries to convince you to leave or compromise your education, know that your education is more valuable than any relationship.

Empower yourself

Empower yourself with knowledge about your rights in school, at work, in the community and at home. For instance, no one has the right to stop you from getting an education, even if you are pregnant in school. It’s also important to know what abuse looks like so that you can spot red flags and walk away from such situations.

Normalise talking about experiences

The truth is, the culture of carrying shame around being abused and/or living in poverty is what helps this cycle continue. To end the cycle of poverty and abuse, we need to be able to talk about certain issues and ask questions without the fear of being shamed or humiliated. This means that safe spaces are so important in our communities and other places.

When we understand the relationship between poverty and abuse, we start seeing the importance of education, knowledge and empowerment within our families, homes and communities. It isn’t easy to break this cycle in your home, but it’s possible and with the right tools, you can make it happen.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).