Domestic Violence is an awful reality for 1 in 3 women over the course of their lifetime. The men they trust the most end up being the men they fear the most. Erin Burdette was one such woman who barely escaped her abuser after he fired his rifle and barely missed her head as she made her break to freedom!
Even after growing up, listening to stories about her mother’s abusive relationship, , Erin didn’t see the signs of her abusive relationship. Many women give their abuser excuses or blame themselves. More than 98% of abused women feel that they have no place to go as the abuser controls all of the money. 98% of abused are experiencing “financial abuse,” in which their partner controls all of the money, and between 21% and 60% of domestic violence victims lose their jobs due to issues that their abuse caused.
I had the opportunity ask Erin a few questions that will hopefully help other women in the same situation.
How living in a small town had an effect, if any, on living in an abusive environment and your ability to leave that relationship (i.e. everyone knows your business, limited job opportunities to leave the relationship, etc).
“As far as living in a small town, I suppose that did affect a lot of things. While many people thought my life seemed perfect, others knew the truth and chose to pick sides. I lost friends, but that was okay because I knew the truth, my family knew the truth and so did those who supported me along the way. I was very fortunate because I had a great job, I stood my ground and refused to leave the area.”
Any advice for women in a similar situation that feels they have no funds to get themselves out on their own?
“The hardest part about leaving is not just the fear of repercussions, but of the financial issues. There are many places that can help you. In my area Every Woman’s House helps women and children safely escape abusive situations and provides resources to help them get on their feet. Don’t be afraid to start your own checking account or even a stash of money. If you are able to start putting a little away every week, even if it’s only $5 or $10, it will come in handy.
I have made friends with many fellow Avon Representatives who simply started selling to have income that could help support them through these types of situations. Avon is a proud supporter of domestic violence prevention and research, and that’s one of the many reasons why I am proud to be a part of its inspiring community of Representatives. A direct sales business can be built from home, which is a great way to work. Many times, abusers isolate their victims and won’t allow them to work outside of the home.
My advice is to start talking to and confiding in trusted friends and family that can help. Most importantly never stay “for the kids.” An abuser rarely changes and it is not worth your life, or your children’s lives, to stay because of fear. Find it within yourself to pick up the pieces and be strong – I promise you the relief and happiness you will feel once you’re free is worth it.”
Erin is an Avon Representative and speaking out about domestic violence and how resources earned from a company like Avon can serve as an opportunity for domestic violence victims to earn money to have financial freedom to leave an abusive relationship. Avon, as an earnings opportunity, is accessible to everyone with any background and experience.
In honor of International Women’s Day, Avon announced that they will be giving $500,000 in grants to organizations across the nation that are helping women like Erin take back their lives.
Avon’s Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative will support 2017 programs that will help ensure more domestic violence victims have access to the vital services needed to help them rebuild their lives.