Assemblymember Gloria Looks to Protect Domestic Violence Survivors from Financial Abuse

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Gloria Bill Would Unburden Domestic Violence Survivors Who Experienced Financial Abuse from Partners

SACRAMENTO, CA – A bill by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) that would protect domestic violence survivors who have experienced financial abuse is headed for consideration by the State Senate. Assembly Bill 2517 (AB 2517), which cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee today, would allow courts to find that specific debts were incurred as part of domestic violence.

Financial abuse occurs in 99 percent of domestic violence cases. It’s an invisible form of violence that has lasting impacts even after a couple are no longer together,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “This bill will allow courts to unburden domestic violence survivors who have experienced financial abuse as part of their relationship. This bill is particularly important today, amid the pandemic, as unfortunately we know reports of domestic violence are rising. I’m thrilled to see it advance to the full Senate.”  

AB 2517 builds on current provisions for restraining orders in the Domestic Violence Prevention Act to better address the debts an abusive partner may incur in the victim’s name without their consent. This can include stealing their identity, opening credit cards/loans, forcing or forging their signature on financial documents, and other debts they coerce the survivor into through threats and intimidation.

AB 2517 would authorize the court (in an ex parte order) to find that specific debts were incurred as a result of domestic violence and without the consent of the partner. By doing so, the court can assign debts to the abuser and/or allow the survivor to use the court order as documentation for civil debt relief protections.

AB 2517 is expected to be heard by the State Senate in the coming weeks. The bill can be read here.