I have always been financial independent. My dad worked in banking as I was growing up so I was always taught to save and work hard in life to achieve whatever I wanted. I was in my abusive relationship from the age of 17 – 24. 7 years of my life. My first ever job was at a fast food chain (Dominos to be precise). I was on £200 a month. I then left there to work in a care home, I worked my way up to Senior Care Assistant and started getting £200 a week. I have never complained about the amount of money I ever earnt, I worked hard for it and was always proud of myself.
Throughout this time of my life, my abusive partner was in and out of employment. He couldn’t be trusted to not spend money on drugs and I kept an eye on the finances as and when I could. At the time, I did give him a lot of my money to help him get by, I thought it was something that I should do as a partner. Little did I know it was financial abuse.
From 2016, I started working in banking. My dream job. I started as a cashier and worked my way up the ladder where I am now an Executive Assistant. Throughout my career in banking I got pay rises, it helped me keep savings up and I was able to buy my first property at 22. It was a joint property with my abuser.
When I left my abuser in 2019, I thought it would be a straight forward break up. However, he decided to remain in the property, refuse to pay, refuse to sell and refuse to leave. I had to pay the mortgage in full on my own even though I wasn’t living there. In the summer of 2019 I had £60 to my name, the lowest id ever had in my bank account. I felt extremely low and stuck.
After I got some advice from a solicitor and with the support of my employer, I stopped paying and let my property go into arrears. To this day, it is still in the process of being repossessed. This may have given me a poor credit rating but I took the control back.
I continued to work hard at work, I took up overtime when I could and I built my savings back up to become financial independent. Even though I was, I didn’t have to pay for someone else anymore.
I disclosed my domestic abuse to my work and they were supportive. I had moved to a new department with no one that I knew and they welcomed me with open arms. They let me have days off for court hearings and police meetings, they checked in on me weekly and they made me feel safe. Work was my safe place and I could be myself without any worries.
Im still going through financial abuse and ive accepted that until my property gets repossessed I will continue to do so, however I do not let it affect me now. My work place supported me and encouraged me to be the best version of me. I won Young Banker of the Year Worldwide 2021 with the idea of a Fairer Financial Future for Sufferers and Survivors of Domestic Abuse. I have done multiple talks, raised awareness, brought out a Domestic Abuse Policy and continue to grow.
I have rebuilt my life.
If it wasn’t for my employer, I wouldn’t be able to have done all this. That’s why employment is so important to me.
Rosie is an Executive Assistant at AIB, a public speaker and winner of Young Banker of the Year Worldwide 2021, she is also a volunteer at EDAC.