After learning of her grandmother’s abusive marriage, Stacy Francis dedicated her life to helping women trapped in dangerous relationships.
At the age of 18, Francis asked her grandmother what caused her to remain in what she knew to be a toxic relationship. Her grandmother explained that she was unable to make it on her own because her husband had always managed her money. She was ignorant and therefore trapped. The conversation Francis had with her grandmother led her to research the connection between financial troubles and women’s likelihood to remain in abusive relationships. She discovered that women involved in financially abusive relationships often are unaware of what steps to take to organize their finances and remove themselves from their partner. Francis used this information as fuel to launch Savvy Ladies—a nonprofit that provides live and digital programming for women in need of financial planning services.
Francis recalls growing up in a middle-class household where discussing money was taboo. She remembers not knowing what stocks or bonds were and being frightened by the world of money. When Francis’ grandmother confided in her about the cage of financial ignorance that caused her to remain in an abusive relationship, Francis realized that the only thing scarier than money was not knowing about money.
Following this conversation, Francis decided to pursue a degree in economics. She graduated with a strong understanding of finance, eventually obtaining a job as a banking analyst.
As the years went by, Francis never forgot about her grandmother’s story. In an effort to assist struggling women she began volunteering at a soup kitchen. Then one day her husband recommended she use her financial knowledge to help in a unique way. He suggested that she volunteer her time to offer opportunities for women in abusive relationships to become educated on money-management; Savvy Ladies was born.
Originally, Savvy Ladies was nothing more than a small group of women who would attend educational sessions at Francis’ home. Over the past 15 years, Savvy Ladies has transformed into a formal nonprofit that has helped over 15,000 women.
Francis is proud of all that has been accomplished, but knows that there will always be more work to get done. Millions of women are still trapped in abusive relationships. Even if a woman gets the courage to leave her abusive partner, many return to the relationship—financial burdens and lack of education on the subject only expedite the return. The hope is that the more women Savvy Ladies educates the fewer that will continue to fall into the dangerous cycle of re-entering abusive relationships.
Francis’ mission is to help women understand something that is too-often viewed as unnecessary for them to learn. Abusive relationship or not, all women should understand how to manage their finances. Savvy Lady serves as a teacher of finance for women, thus making Francis’ goal a possibility.
To learn more about this topic please read “The Depressing Reason Women Should Care About Money” or check out the Savvy Ladies website.
About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://www.savvyladies.org/about-us/
Ohikuare, J., Money, L. •, & Donenfeld., P. C. (2017, April 17). The Depressing Reason Women Should Care About Money. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://www.refinery29.com/2017/04/149281/savvy-ladies-stacy-francis-helping-women-essay