Domestic violence victims in New Jersey may suffer from a variety of different types of abuse. It may be physical, emotional or sexual in nature. However, financial abuse may also occur, making victims afraid to leave due to the thought of their identity being stolen.
Individuals who work with domestic violence victims know that abusers tend to be very controlling and often have access to their victims’ personal information. Abusers may coerce their victims into securing a credit card, maxing it out and then ruining their credit so that the victims have no money or resources available if they ever try to leave. Other abusers may use personal information about their victims to publicly humiliate, stalk or harass the abuse victims.
There are certain steps that abuse victims may be able to take to help protect themselves from becoming victims of identity theft. However, it is important that victims not do anything that they believe would put them in an unsafe position. Victims may be able to create new accounts and discreetly link their business to them. Victims may use an incognito window so that browsers do not store this information. Victims can order a credit report to see if they are already a victim of identity theft and contact the credit bureaus to correct any mistakes on these reports. If possible, victims can track their debit and credit transactions from a public computer or mobile device. Any fraudulent charges should be immediately reported if it is safe to do so.
People who are domestic violence victims may decide to consult with a family law attorney in order to determine ways to safely leave the relationship and protect themselves at this heightened state of risk. Legal counsel may be able to obtain a court order preventing the abuser from intimidating the victim during this process.