A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Microloans, financial guidance set Ky. domestic violence survivors on path to financial independence

By Nadia Ramlagan
Public News Service

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and one survivor in Fayette County recalls how a microloan helped her get back on her feet after leaving an abusive marriage.

Twenty-six-year-old Stacy says she initially used Facebook to reach out to the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence for financial guidance.

“I started a microloan because I had some debt that my ex-husband had ran up on me,” she relates. “The microloan helped pay off my credit card, that had all these charges on it from my marriage.”

Stacy says the microloan opportunity set her on a path toward financial independence. She’s graduated from college, and is now working on a master’s degree.

Last year, the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence provided emergency shelter and transitional housing to more than 4,000 survivors and their children, as well as other services to more than 20,000 survivors.

Stacy points out that, unlike traditional lines of credit, microloans don’t include interest charges. In this case, participants pay a small, set amount for one year, and receive training on how to create a budget plan for making regular payments.

“Not only did it help me pay off my credit card faster, it’s a whole other line of credit that, as I was making payments on it every month, was helping build my credit even more,” she explains.

Stacy wants women across the state to know there are resources available through any of the Kentucky coalition’s 15 member programs.

“Any of them will be able to help with the application process or give any kind of information on the microloan, or on any other economic empowerment programs,” she states.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the rates for intimate-partner violence are among the highest in the nation for women in Kentucky.

This month, advocates are wearing purple to remember those who have lost their lives from domestic violence.

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