The rising cost of living impacts everyone. But amidst the discussion of families eating rice and beans to make ends meet and adult children cohabiting with their parents longer, because they can’t afford a place of their own, we often forget about the other victims: people trapped in abusive relationships because they can’t afford to leave.
One woman shared her story on Reddit, claiming she’s forced to stay with an abusive partner because she can’t afford to leave.
She Works Two Jobs
The Original Poster works hard. She has two part-time jobs but works full-time between the two, pulling 29 hours at her “main” job and working retail on the weekends.
She doesn’t make enough each month to afford her own place.
Her Abusive “Partner”
Though her partner isn’t physically abusive, he’s emotionally and mentally abusive, and although OP doesn’t call it such, he’s sexually assaulted her. “There have been times where he refused to take no for an answer after I’ve worked on my feet all day,” reported OP.
He doesn’t work, but his wealthy parents pay his share of the bills. Between playing video games and blowing money on Only Fans, he finds plenty of time to berate OP for her “uselessness.”
“I’m yelled at every day about how I don’t do enough,” shared OP, adding that he’s called her an awful mother yet neglects their son while he’s home all day.
She can’t afford clothes or food because her partner refuses to spend money on her or their child, yet he has everything he needs (and wants).
Parents Part of the Problem
OP tried reaching out to her partner’s parents for help. They are her child’s grandparents, after all.
However, their response shows us where OP’s partner gets his entitled behavior. They called her a golddigger for requesting their son help pay for his own child’s care. In addition, they threatened to take her son away in court if she tried to leave, and the partner said he’d never pay her a dime of child support.
He’s probably right because he doesn’t have an income, as his parents fund his existence.
OP feels trapped. She can’t afford a place on her own. Even if she could, she wouldn’t have anyone to watch her son while she worked, and she can’t afford childcare.
She refuses to leave without her child, as the father constantly neglects him while she works, and she fears leaving would give his parents even more ammunition to take her son in court.
The outrageous cost of living forces this woman and her child to endure daily abuse at the hands of the person who’s supposed to help make their lives easier.
Many users, moved by OP’s post, recommended she find a women’s shelter willing to take her and her son. OP seemed unaware that her partner’s behavior is textbook abuse, and many provided resources explaining the different types of emotional, mental, and physical abuse.
They offered a plethora of resources to help her find a place, and we hope she can escape.
Doesn’t Solve the Over Arching Problem
OP’s tale isn’t extraordinary. Although she may escape, millions more women across the country are trapped in similar situations.
Many have children, and some gave up their own financial independence to raise their children, not realizing the abuse would escalate when they had no way out.
There are no simple solutions. Although the rising cost of living contributes heavily to women’s inability to escape abusive relationships, it’s not the only barrier.
Women were trapped in abusive situations far before inflation. The problem lies with misogynistic men who feel entitled to women’s labor and bodies and a society that doesn’t value women’s contributions.
It’s getting even worse, as limited access to healthcare will trap even more women in motherhood with abusive fathers and the insidious calls in some dark corners of politics to end no-fault divorce.
Society Must Do Better for Women
Society must undergo a drastic paradigm shift. We must start valuing women’s work in creating and caring for life while respecting them as human beings first and foremost.
We must reduce the cost of living to make life affordable for women who escape abusive situations while also teaching men that women are people, not objects for their use.
Society is trying its hardest to push women back into domestic servitude, and we can’t let that happen.
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