#NaBloPoMo – In The Nick of Time (#DV #IPV Financial Safety Planning)




October is Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month. I want to talk briefly about crunch time when it comes to leaving an abusive relationship. It is important for anyone contemplating leaving and abusive relationship to think about everything that goes into preparing to leave. Up to 75% of all deaths related to domestic violence (against women) happen when the victims attempt to leave or have already left the relationship and/or home. While there are no fool-proof, 100% perfect options that will guarantee safety, every victim should have a plan of some sort.

The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence provides a personal safety plan template that one can download, complete, and store in a safe place.



One of the things one needs to do when considering leaving such a relationship is to crunch the numbers– “Can I afford to leave?” Many will balk at the idea of debating leaving an abusive relationship because of financial concerns, but financial instability is one of the primary reasons DV/IPV victims do NOT leave the relationship.  You can read more about financial abuse in DV/IPV relationships here and learn why victims are often caught in a web of dependence and abuse because of financial insecurity.

Part of the safety plan should include saving money, if possible, and building an emergency escape stash. For some, this is difficult because abusers may demand access to all financial records, ledgers, bank accounts, etc. Even finding a wad of money rolled up and stuffed in a sock can lead to more abuse, so if you’re planning to begin saving, try to find a secure place to keep the money.  If you work, consider leaving it at work in a locked drawer. Perhaps you have a friend who is willing to hold money for you in his/her home or in a separate account that doesn’t have your name.

Figure out the cost of living where you are using this calculator. It should give you a sense of how costs will translate should you opt to leave your neighborhood, city, or even state. Sometimes, people underestimate the financial costs of transplanting one’s whole life to a distance place and may end up scraping in a way that makes going back to the relationship a more viable option than financially struggling alone.

Look into local resources that offer support for DV/IPV victims, where you currently live and where you plan to live. It helps to know that there are places you can go if you run into more trouble than you anticipated or if you simply want to feel that you’re not completely alone.

Have you told friends or family? If they know you’re planning to leave and have offered help, perhaps they can give or loan you money to help you with your transition. Some people may not be able to give you huge amounts of money, but every little bit counts. If they can’t help you with money, maybe they can help by giving you a safe space to stay or provide you with food and clothing (which cost money) as you make a new life for yourself. When it is crunch time, you have to consider all of the options available to you and not let pride getting in the way of you seeking the help you need to LIVE.

There is a lot that goes into leaving any relationship or transitioning one’s life into the next phase. Being in an abusive relationship increases the difficulty exponentially, especially considering the threat of violence that comes with walking away from violent abuse. My hope is that this provides a bit of help in the area of financial preparation.



FJ on @TheDailyShow Discussing #StreetHarassment #YouOKSis

daily show

I was invited, along with several other wonder women fighting the good fight against sexual harassment and assault, to do a segment on The Daily Show. It was humorous, obviously, but some good points were made. Was great to meet so many awesome advocates that day.


#NaBloPoMo Back Into The Crunch of Things



Two days after 360 crunches and I can barely breathe.

I recently started back going to the gym after taking a long break. I gained some weight during graduate school and now that I am done,  I want to refocus on my physical health and shedding some pounds. I was so committed to being a gym rat; I went to the gym 5-6 times a week. As school progressed and my schedule began to fill up with a myriad of obligations, I found myself putting myself last. Having received some devastating health news recently, I decided to get back into the rhythm of working out and losing some of this weight.

So, I went 5 days in a row and have been going full throttle. I love it, really and truly, but love hurts… sometimes. My inner thigh is sore and my abs would scream if my vocal cords were a bit lower. I have more energy, though, and that makes for better days (which are now more fully booked than ever before).

I’m in a loving competition with my boyfriend. We are trying to each lose 20lbs and see who can lose it first. We know that men and women lose weight differently, and I think we both want to lose more than 20lbs, but it is the friendliness and fun of the competition that keeps us going. We both want to be healthier and we know we’ve put on some weight since we’ve been together. Sometimes, couples struggle with having honest conversations about weight gain/loss because no one wants to offend the other. However, when you care about each other and want each other to be healthier, you have to have the difficult conversations and offer each other support.

We’re both extremely busy with careers, families, and the obligation of changing the world. We both tend to neglect ourselves and adapt poor eating and sleeping habits. We agreed to be more intentional, not just for ourselves, but for each other. I want to live as long as possible and I know he does too. We want to live long together, so, we’re working on this together.

It’s “crunch time” for me, but in a ME ME ME way. I’m making the time to focus on getting to the gym and doing one of the things I love most– exercise.

Recipe: Vegan Kale Stir Fry




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