Signs That You Are a Victim of Financial Abuse

Abuse can come in many forms. Many people misunderstand abuse as only meaning physical abuse. This is a dangerous misconception because it causes people to disregard other forms of abuse that can be just as damaging, such as financial abuse.

Financial abuse is a very misunderstood concept. It is essential to understand the signs of financial abuse you shouldn’t ignore.

What Is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse is any type of behavior in a relationship that attempts to weaken another person financially so that they lose their power in the relationship and their power as an individual. This type of abuse can leave a person very vulnerable and dependent on the abuser. This can lead the individual to feel trapped and helpless.

Financial abuse is often seen in combination with other types of abuse or as a predecessor for other kinds of abuse.

Common Signs of Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is very subtle. Sometimes people don’t even realize it is happening until it has gotten severe. Learning the signs of abuse can help you identify these harmful behaviors early on. Remember, abuse can vary from person to person. Abusers will often customize abuse to suit their victims. They may not even know they are doing this, but whether consciously or unconsciously, they will create behaviors that trap you as an individual. After reviewing these common signs of abuse, take some time to consider if any of these items struck a chord with you.

Signs of financial abuse can include a partner who:

  • Puts you on an allowance or budget without your input
  • Requires accounting of everything you spend
  • Encourages you to quit your job, makes work difficult, and causes you to miss work often
  • Expresses entitlement to your money or other assets
  • Spends your money without accountability
  • Controls all finances without your input
  • Discourages you from getting a job, seeking a promotion, pursuing your education, or other types of advancement
  • Limits or denies access to your accounts or shared accounts
  • Does not contribute to household responsibilities
  • Damages your credit with no intention of paying it back
  • Uses money as a weapon during fights
  • Uses children’s money without consent
  • Becomes angry or physically abusive over money issues

Consequences of Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is a tactic that abusers use to make you vulnerable and dependent. It usually precedes more severe forms of abuse and can leave you trapped. If you have been a victim of financial abuse, you may not have the means to successfully leave the relationship, secure other housing, or pay bills without the abusive partner. Once you are trapped in this way, abuse can escalate.

What To Do?

If you are experiencing financial abuse, you must take steps now to leave the toxic relationship, even if this step comes at a steep financial price. Even if you feel unable to support yourself, there are resources and help available for individuals to help them leave the relationship and reestablish themselves financially.