Financial abuse, or economic abuse, is when someone exerts such control over your access to money, that you have no choice over spending decisions, and no access to money without them giving it to you. Controlling someone's access to financial resources is a very effective way of maintaining control of other aspects of life,
Perhaps you have to account for every penny spent, or perhaps you have to go without essential things because you are prevented from having any money.
Financial abuse can include:
- Making you account for every penny you spend
- Making you ask for money when you need it
- Limiting you to an allowance
- Not letting you have a bank account
- Hiding money from you
- Hiding communal or family income from you
- Denying you and the children basic things you need (like food, clothes, heating or bus fares)
- Spending money you can't afford on going out, alcohol, drugs, gambling or luxuries
- Stopping you from getting or keeping a job
- Making you work long hours to support their spending
- Stealing from you
- Taking your money and blaming you for it
- Running up debts in your name without you knowing
- Making you take out loans against your will
- Blaming you for debts, or lack of money, when you have no control over it.
- Taking your benefit books and not using it for you.
Couples and families choose to manage their finances in different ways, and for some people having someone else looking after their money and bills is helpful. But when that ceases to be helpful, and the person is doing it for their own benefit, and denying financial resources to the person they are looking after, that is financial abuse.