Abuse can take many shapes and forms, and one of the lesser known forms of abuse is financial abuse. Financial abuse occurs in almost all domestic violence cases and can be used to create barriers for individuals in romantic relationships, familial relationships, or relationships between an individual and their caretaker.
Financial abuse can look like:
A partner, family member, or caretaker limiting your access to financial information or assets, or controlling how money is spent.
A partner, family member, or caretaker forbidding you to work or make decisions that will advance you in your career (such as attending additional training or education), or sabotaging employment by harassing, stalking, or other actions that may cause you to miss work.
A partner, family member, or caretaker ruining your credit by running up large amounts of debt or refusing to pay bills.
These manipulative behaviors are the top reason for individuals staying in or returning to unhealthy relationships. Financial abuse diminishes independence and forces the individual to rely on the abuser in ways that they otherwise would not, given financial freedom.
If you believe that you or a loved one may be experiencing financial abuse, talking to a therapist or other trusted individual is a great first step to connecting with helpful resources and regaining independence.