Women Stay In Bad Relationships Because Of Rental Prices Rising.
Moving in with someone is probably one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. There are the petty quarrels that pepper the start of a relationship between people bunking up—the horror that they do not refrigerate butter to conflicting ideas about what a "tidy" bedroom really means—and then the bigger stuff. Stuff like rent, bills, taxes. The things that make the difference between being able to sleep comfortably at night or trudging through the snow with a blanket to avail yourself on your friend's couch.
It's these very financial issues that can morph into a form of abuse and control in a relationship. These scenarios run the gambit from "we're not in love, but I suppose this will do until my next paycheck" to the much more frightening situation of living with an abusive partner and being too broke to move out.
A spokesperson from the National Domestic Violence Hotline characterizes this dynamic as "economic or financial abuse." Examples of this can include giving a person an allowance and closely watching how they spend it or demanding receipts for their purchases, or placing your paycheck in their bank account and denying you access to it.
A UK trade-in site, Ziffit, polled 2,040 people across the UK and found that 28 percent of surveyed participants currently in a relationship admitted that financial security was a key factor keeping them with their current partner.
A UK-based homeless charity, Crisis, published a report that found 27 percent of homeless service users claimed that they had formed an unwanted sexual relationship with someone since being homeless, and this was a measure significantly more women than men resorted to.
Wherever you are in the world, the sheer expense of living is a concern, particularly when many of the best paying jobs are located in major metropolitan areas. Indeed, the proximity of housing to such well paying jobs is part of what drives up rental costs. For instance, the cost of an apartment in Manhattan reached a record high last year. In 2015, Los Angeles had rental vacancies at just 3.3 percent in city of 3.9 million people. In the UK, according to a Shelter study, 352,000 renters were threatened with eviction in 2015.
Many young people are at the total mercy of their landlords or partners. Then factor in the global gender pay gap and it's little wonder women are put in difficult positions time and time again.
Clare Prendergast, a counselor for Relate, says there are different strategies you can take when you need to leave a financially abusive or dependent relationship.
"For some women, it might not be an overnight plan that saves you—you might need to leave immediately if he's being physically abusive," Prendergast says. "But it might be up to a five-year plan if it's a more subtle form of control. It might be a situation where you need to speak to someone to help recover your sanity and then figure out a plan to change it. It might be going back to school, getting a small job, setting up a secret savings account, but knowing you've got an exit plan might be enough to help you stomach it before you can leave."