Meet Anastasia: When Anastasia's marriage turned abusive, she knew she had to leave, but didn’t have the financial resources to get out safely. Recalling that time, Anastasia says, "It was scary to leave the domestic violence situation because my husband was responsible for paying the bills." When she got a court order of protection against him, she was relieved that he was out of the apartment, but worried, "How am I going to pay rent? Bills? Internet? Phone?"
With the help of EARN, she established financial goals for herself and started setting away money – for her future, to go back to school, and most of all for an emergency fund. She wanted to make sure that she'd never be trapped in a bad situation again without resources to fall back on. Now she's planning to become a social worker so she can help other abuse survivors like herself.
Anastasia learned about EARN through the Family Justice Center in New York, which provides resources for survivors of domestic abuse. Her initial concern was how to budget money without a job and how to save for an emergency fund. While in EARN's saving program, she met her savings goals every month. EARN kept her "coordinated and responsible" and gave her a "reality check" about the importance of saving.
Now that she's built up an emergency fund, Anastasia says she feels more calm because she knows that "if something happens, I could at least buy a ticket to get home to be with my mother." Having an emergency fund also allows Anastasia to start working toward her long-term goals and dreams.
Anastasia currently works part-time with non-verbal autistic children, but she's planning to go back to school and get a degree in social work so that she can work in a domestic violence center. "I don't want anyone to go through what I went through," she says. "Many immigrants like me don't have resources and don't know that help is available. That's who I want to help."