ASHLAND, Ky. (WOWK) – Lois Payne is a survivor, but no just from the years of mental and physical abuse she endured.
“When I first walked through that door I had the clothes I was wearing and an empty purse, because he took everything out of my purse at the hospital,” Payne recalled.
Lois is eager to speak about today’s $30,000 grant from Kentucky Power to the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Abuse at Safe Harbor in Ashland. The money goes to programs that helped Lois, and others, become financially independent again.
“They don’t have to hit you; they don’t have to put you in the hospital for it to be abuse,” Payne said. “If they control you money, if they control your thinking, if they control your moods, even if they control what you eat or drink, that’s abuse.”
Andrea Miller with KCADV says the money from the grant goes to the economic empowerment fund which not only helps women get back on their feet financially, it helps them stay there.
“About 98-percent of survivors report economic abuse, so part of their classes is to recognized and look at what economic abuse does,” Miller said.
Domestic violence victims are often left with nothing, including no car and no money. The programs through the KCADV helps victims establish a safety net, like starting a savings account and getting transportation. The money also funds budgeting classes. These are all programs that have helped Lois.
“Keep people in mind, you know, just because you think there’s nothing wrong, doesn’t mean that there’s not,” Payne said.
Financial abuse largely goes unnoticed, but can show up in a variety of ways including causing a partner to miss work, giving a partner an allowance, and overspending a partner’s credit card.