Financial abuse is not as well known as other types of abuse, but it is no less devastating. Financial abuse occurs when an abuser gains power by restricting a victim’s access to money. Here’s everything you should know about this issue.
Signs of Abuse
The signs of financial abuse can be subtle at first. An abuser can control all of the financial decisions simply because it seems “easier that way.” An abuser can slowly run up debts and refuse to pay bills that are in the victim’s name. An abuser can limit access to checking accounts and credit cards. Another common type of financial abuse is limiting the victim’s access to gainful employment. Often this involves some type of physical or mental abuse. The abuser might force the victim to be late to a job interview, destroy their work clothes, or even physically harm the victim so they’re unable to work. A financial abuser typically controls all the money in a relationship.
Look for warning signs in the beginning of a relationship. How open and honest is your partner about money? Does talking with them about finances make you uncomfortable? As US News notes, before entering into a long term relationship, make sure you have discussed money and formed a plan that includes you.
How to Get Help
If you’ve been the victim of financial abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 800-799-7233. There is someone on the line 24/7. You should try to gather as much information about your finances as possible. Try to obtain account numbers and login info, and make copies of driver’s license, birth certificates, credit card statements and more.