Let’s define financial abuse for those unaware: those who use money as a way to manipulate, guilt trip, etc. you on a regular basis that hurt your mental wellbeing.
Financial abuse is always a difficult subject to bring up while being in support groups for any kind of abuser. While some people will jump to your aid, others will just claim “spoiled brat” or “you feel entitled to their money, don’t you? Try being independent.”
The truth of the matter is, if you live in America, it is not so simple to just “be financially independent” of your abuser. Even with a college degree, it is extremely difficult to get a “regular” job, where often employees will turn you away for being “overqualified” or “you don’t have the experience we are looking for” (but that’s impossible to obtain because no one will hire you to begin with). The other problem (among many) is the fact that people are not willing to give you a salary worth your degree. I have seen people post job listings that inherently require a graduate degree, but are only willing to pay them $9.00 an hour. That is lower than minimum wage in some states! I have a friend who is currently pursuing a PhD with a good resume (and plenty of job experience) who has been laid off because of the bad economy. I am not exaggerating with the fact that they have sent off 400 job applications, and not one person has called them back.
Financial abuse is not first world problems. Abuse comes in all shapes and sizes, as well as across the spectrum. If a student is relying on their guardians to help pay for school and out of nowhere they decide to completely cut off financial support, that student is not being “spoiled” for suddenly being frustrated that their only source of income has been completely ripped away from them.
Financial abuse should not bring out the “oppression Olympics” where people will tell their tragic life story as a means of invalidating someone’s experience and essentially tell them “what you went through is not abuse. I actually went through abuse, and here’s my horrible story to prove it.” Victim gatekeeping is one of the worst things you can do to someone.
If the American economy was in a better place where people were actually hiring in small and medium size towns, it would be easier to say “just get a job to help support yourself”. The truth of the matter is, it is insanely difficult to get a job in today’s economy, especially if you’re in your teens or twenties. Even if a student finishes in the top 10% of their class (high school or college), people are reluctant to hire you. Applying for scholarships to help with school is metaphorically the same as trying to win the lottery. Since many Americans are “sue-happy”, it is difficult to sell pre-owned things online without something threatening small claims court due to a miniscule imperfection they found on the product. Freelancing your skills online is also a struggle, because you are one fish in the sea of many, trying to attract the same clientele (especially if you are new to the field).