Financial abuse happens when an abuser takes control of finances to prevent the other person from leaving and to maintain power in a relationship. An abuser may take control of all the money, withhold it, and conceal financial information from the victim. Financial abuse happens often in physically abusive relationships. Financial abuse can also happen in elder abuse when a relative, friend, or caregiver steals money from an older person.
Financial abuse happens when an abuser has control over finances in a relationship and withholds money from the victim. Often, a woman does not leave an abusive relationship because she fears she will not be able to provide for herself or her children. Financial abuse can make the victim feel as if she can’t leave. This fear is often the main reason women don’t leave an abusive relationship.
Whether subtle or overt, there are common methods that abusers use to gain financial control over their partner. These include:
·Forbidding the victim to work.
·Sabotaging work or employment opportunities by stalking or harassing the victim at the workplace or causing the victim to lose her/his job by physically battering prior to important meetings or interviews.
·Forbidding the victim from attending job training or advancement opportunities.
·Controlling how all of the money is spent.
·Not including the victim in investment or banking decisions.
·Not allowing the victim access to bank accounts.
·Withholding money or giving “an allowance.”
·Forcing the victim to write bad checks or file fraudulent tax returns.
·Running up large amounts of debt on joint accounts.
·Refusing to work or contribute to the family income.
·Withholding funds for the victim or children to obtain basic needs such as food and medicine.
·Stealing the victim’s identity, property, or inheritance.
·Forcing the victim to work in a family business without pay.
·Refusing to pay bills and ruining the victims’ credit score.
·Forcing the victim to turn over public benefits or threatening to turn the victim in for “cheating or misusing benefits.”
·Filing false insurance claims.
·Refusing to pay or evading child support or manipulating the divorce process by drawing it out by hiding or not disclosing assets.