Domestic abuse victim explains how lack of money kept her trapped in abusive relationship

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — One in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence, but it’s not always the physical abuse or emotional abuse that keeps them trapped in the relationship.

“Financially, I didn’t have access to money,” said Jill Assalti, who was trapped for nearly nine years in an abusive relationship and now is a motivational speaker reaching out to thousands of victims every year.

Assalti says abusive relationships don’t happen overnight and the same hold true for escaping them.

“I believe it’s by design and by intent to move quickly in the relationship – get you more invested in marriage, owning a home, maybe children – by then it’s harder to leave and be financially independent,” Assalti said.

Assalti is the keynote speaking at this month’s 2016 Gift of Peace Luncheon to benefit The Spring of Tampa Bay. The very place that helped her break away from an abusive relationship.

“When you think there is no way out, there’s The Spring that offers financial assistance housing shelter you can bring your children there, they will help you find a lawyer, there is medical care, but the most important thing I believe is they offer an exit plan. That is essential, because when you decide to leave that is the most dangerous time, that is the time you are most likely to get killed. So your exit plan needs to be strategic and planned out and the Spring they are experts at,” Assalti said.

Assalti knows personally how difficult it is to come forward and admit your living in an abusive relationship, but hopes everyone will come to The Spring of Tampa Bay luncheon to learn more about how to help, as a community. Get the details here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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