Financial Abuse is More Common Than You Think

Financial Abuse- How to Spot It
Photo credit: Gift Habeshaw

Abuse comes in many different forms, and no matter how it’s spun, it’s wrong. Unfortunately, throughout the world, people are abused on a daily basis. Just because you can’t always see it, it doesn’t mean that someone isn’t going through abuse.

There are many different types of abuse, but financial abuse is one that isn’t often seen and affects more people than one would think. Studies have shown that in 99% of domestic violence cases, financial abuse also occurs.

Financial abuse shows itself in many different ways and often progresses over time. Financial restrictions are typically lifted off one of the partners while the other handles all the money and provides an allowance to the other. As time goes on, the abuser managing the funds provides less and less of an allowance, keeping the victim from having any money. This forces the victim to be dependent and close to the abuser to have access to the funds. The abuser commonly uses violence, threats, and intimidation to put down the victim.

Other forms of financial abuse are:

· Forbidding the victim to work

· Not including the victim in any investment or banking decisions

· Forcing the victim to write bad checks or file fraudulent bank documents

· Forcing the victim to work in a family business without pay

The impact of financial abuse can last for years and follow the victim for the rest of their life. If there is suspicion a friend, loved one, or spouse is being financially abused or abusing, contact a counselor or law enforcement officer immediately. Reaching out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline is also an effective measure to help out. The longer financial abuse occurs, the more damage that occurs.

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