Financial Abuse Occurs in 99% Of Domestic Violence Cases!

Edith
Edith Mecha

Financial abuse is a less commonly understood or spoken about form of abuse

In most times when we talk about domestic violence, we tend to focus on physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Rarely does financial abuse come to mind. But why? Because financial abuse is a less commonly understood or spoken about form of abuse. Sadly, this abuse or control of one’s access to family finances and assets is prevalent and has devastating consequences. It rarely happens in isolation as perpetrators use other abusive methods to threaten and buttress the finance abuse. Research observes that it occurs in up to 99 percent of domestic violence cases.

Financial abuse, like emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, involves tactics to intentionally manipulate, control, intimidate, and threaten the victim to tie them in the relationship. It can happen to anyone of any age, race, ethnic group, socio-economic, educational status.

This abuse is one of the most powerful tactics of keeping a survivor trapped in an abusive relationship and severely weakens their ability to stay safe and financially stable after leaving the relationship.

Financial abuse in relationships
Safe Speaks

So, why is it less spoken about?

Financial abuse is not easily noticeable at first. It is often silent and invisible. Like all the other forms of abuse it often begins subtly and gradually progresses over time. You may find instances where a partner – demands the other to stop working against their wish, takes credit using the victim’s bank details without consulting them, limits access to necessities like the family car.

A research conducted by the Co-operative Bank observes that one in five adults will experience financial abuse within a relationship. For women, financial abuse rarely happens in isolation – 86 percent experience other forms of abuse. Half of the victims experience a partner taking financial assets without permission while a third of the victims suffer in silence, telling no-one.

One in five adults will experience financial abuse within a relationship

Co-operative Bank

Financial freedom is a major desire for everyone, which is why it is so important to understand what financial abuse looks like.

Let’s check out some of the common signs of financial abuse below:

Financial abuse is hard to spot because people handle money differently in their relationships. However, abusers often use these methods to gain control of a partner’s finances:

  1. Forces you to quit your job against your wish
  2. Sabotaging your work by harassing you at the workplace or battering you and causing you to miss work
  3. Forbidding the victim from attending job training or career advancement opportunities
  4. Controlling how all the household money is spent
  5. Not including the victim in investment or banking decisions
  6. Spends your money without your knowledge
  7. Withholding finances or giving you “allowances”
  8. Demanding an account for everything you spend
  9. Hiding or limiting access to assets
  10. Stealing the victim’s identity, property, or inheritance
  11. Forcing the victim to work in a family business without pay
  12. Refusing to pay bills and ruining the victims’ credit score
  13. Limits your access to your own bank account or mutual bank accounts
  14. Lives in your home without working or helping with household tasks
  15. Forcing the victim to write bad checks or file fake tax returns
  16. Running up large amounts of debt on joint accounts
  17. Refusing to pay or evading child support or manipulating the divorce process by drawing it out by hiding or not disclosing assets
  18. Preventing you from going to work by hiding car or gate keys
  19. Takes credit using your bank cards and refuses to offset it
  20. Threatens to cut you off financially when you disagree
  21. Uses funds from children’s savings account without mutual agreement
  22. Engages in other forms of abuse like silent treatment, belittling or physical abuse when they get angry over your spending habits

Financial abuse has a devastating impact on the victim. The abuse has tremendous threats to their financial well-being and prevents them from realizing their personal financial capability. Studies show that most women fear leaving the abuser because of a lack of finances to support themselves and their children when out of the relationship. And for those that manage to leave, some end up returning to the abuser because of the financial strains. Governments and women rights organizations’ need to create plans supporting survivors to become economically stable and self-sufficient after leaving cannot be understated.

Financial abuse is a hidden, insidious form of domestic violence that devalues and destroys victims. There is a need for more awareness around this form of abuse. Learning about its signs can be the first step in taking back control over your finances. Speaking out can feel tough but getting support is particularly important.

Remember: There are many ways financial abuse can show up in relationships and the signs may not be obvious at first. If you feel like your partner is controlling or manipulating your finances, please reach out for help. You deserve better than this. Check out resources here.

Watch out for ways you can help a friend or a loved one going through domestic violence.

Edith Mecha
Edith Mecha

Edith is a writer, social science researcher and speaker who cares about communication, gender equality, and women empowerment. She loves adventure and comedy too! Edith believes that we can all be agents of positive change in our communities by making small but impactful changes every day.

Join our mailing list

Latest Posts

10 Steps Men Can Take to End Violence Against Women

There are many ways that men and boys can get involved in the fight to end violence against women. It is important for males of all ages, from students to businessmen, teachers to law enforcement officers to stand up and speak out about the injustice faced by those who live with gender inequality around them.

Blaming The Victim

RECENT debates linking how women dress to the issue of rape have only reinforced the need for a more scientific conversation around violence against women in our society.

Blaming the victim in cases of sexual violence may be a global phenomenon. But it is particularly endemic in patrilinear cultures where restrictive beliefs about women’s roles and rights in society dominate.

12 Self-Care Tips For Domestic Violence Survivors

Healing from trauma and abuse is not an easy process. It takes a lot of focus, patience and self-care strategies to rebuild your sense of control and worthiness. But with commitment and the right support system your healing journey can become an empowering adventure.

5 Ways To Help A Person Going Through Domestic Violence

If you know or suspect that a loved one is going through domestic violence, you might feel clueless about the best way to help. Simple actions such as reaching out and letting them know that you are there for them can provide tremendous relief and save a life. Here are simple actions you can take to provide support and save someone’s life in the process.

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Leave a Reply