Financial abuse is a type of family violence. It often happens alongside other types of violence, such as physical or emotional abuse. It can leave you feeling vulnerable, isolated, depressed, and anxious. It can also take away your independence.
Financial abuse is when someone takes away your access to money, manipulates your financial decisions, or uses your money without consent.
Financial abuse can happen to anyone. The abuser could be your partner, or ex-partner, a family member, carer, or friend.
Elder financial abuse is also a serious problem. Older people can be especially vulnerable to financial abuse. This is because they often depend on others for help with financial tasks and decisions.
Financial abuse is a form of domestic and family violence. It occurs where an abuser uses money and/or financial resources to control their partner. Creating financial dependency is one of the most powerful tools an abuser has to keep someone trapped in an abusive relationship. Some examples of financial abuse include where the perpetrator:
- Controls how household money is spent.
- Controls finances, stealing/withholding money, or coercing someone into debt.
- Runs up large amounts of debt on joint accounts.
- Hides assets.
- Steals the victim-survivor’s identity, property, or inheritance.
- Forces the victim-survivor to work in a family business without pay.
- Refuses to pay bills and negatively impacts the victim-survivor’s credit score.
- Doesn’t allow access to bank accounts.
- Forces the victim-survivor to turn over government benefits or threatens to report the victim for “cheating or misusing benefits.”
- Files false insurance claims.
- Runs up a victim-survivor’s credit card balance.
- Forces a victim-survivor to take out loans.
- Opens loans and credit cards in a partner’s name.
- Refinances a home or car without the victim-survivor’s knowledge and/or consent.
- Forces a victim-survivor to sign financial documents, such as life insurance.