Financial abuse is often less obvious than other types of abuse people experience. It is, however, often a very common tactic used by abusers to take control in the relationship and can have devastating consequences.
This type of abuse can take many forms and may be very difficult to identify from both the outside looking in and for those who are victims of this kind of behavior. Below are some signs that may indicate a person is exerting control over the finances of another in a relationship.
No access to bank accounts or debit/credit cards
This causes the victim to have to rely on their partner for “hand-outs” as and when they need money. They will have no idea how much money they have in the bank or where any of their money is going. They may be forced to hand over all of their paycheck to the abuser, having to ask for money when they need it. The abuser may take away all of their credit or debit cards and not allow them access to any online banking. This results in the victim being wholly reliant on the abuser for money.
All debts are in your name
You may be unaware that this is even the case or you may have been coerced into thinking that this was a good idea. The abuser in this situation might convince their victim to provide them with loans or to take out credit in the victim’s name. All of this can leave you in a dire situation if the abuser fails to keep up with repayments on the debt or if they accrue more debt than is affordable. As the debt is in your name, it leaves you responsible for it and can cause serious financial difficulty.
Leaving a relationship where there is an imbalance of power such as this can be incredibly difficult and feel almost impossible. Help is available to you and you do have options. Finding out about your legal rights can be the first step in finding freedom.