When someone hears the words “domestic abuse” they associate it with physical abuse or verbal abuse. The truth is, financial abuse occurs just as frequently and is often the first sign of dating violence and domestic abuse.
A study by the Centers for Financial Security found that 99% of domestic violence cases also involved financial abuse. The abuser controls his/her victim’s ability to acquire, use and maintain financial resources. The victim may even be prevented from working. Often times their own income is restricted or stolen by their abuser, and they rarely have complete access to money and other resources.
While the forms of financial abuse vary by situation, the goal is always the same – to gain power and control in a relationship. An abuser may use subtle tactics such as manipulation, or they may be more overt, demanding and intimidating. Making financial abuse one of the most powerful methods of keeping a victim trapped in an abusive relationship.
‘To end the cycle of abuse, we must have meaningful conversations to shine a light on how financial abuse traps victims,’ says Woman’s Day Magazine. Financial insecurity is the top reason women either return to an abusive partner or aren’t able to end the relationship. Victims feel inadequate and unsure of themselves leaving them vulnerable to more abuse and violence. The financial dependence trap creates isolation leaving victims financially dependent on their abusers with no resources for a safe way out.