There are many forms of control in an abusive relationship and one of those is financial abuse. Verbal abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse are the most well known abuses of domestic violence.
But there are several other kinds.
What is financial abuse?
Financial abuse (or material abuse) is, for example, illegal or unauthorized use of a person’s property, money, pension book or other valuables (including changing the person’s will to name the abuser as heir).
Often fraudulently obtaining power of attorney, followed by deprivation of money or other property, or by eviction from own home. Wiki
An abuser will use their power to control you; this is the power they have over you.
There are many ways that financial abuse can take place without you even realising it.
The abuser may suggest that working or wanting to gain employment is a waste of time, that they want to be the man of the house and provide for you.
If you do work then your wages may have to go direct to them, or they have the final say over your any spending.
Why do you need to bother with a bank account when they can do all that for you?
Do you have to account for every penny you spend?
Are you made to feel guilty when you make a purchase?
Do you need to ask for money when you do need some?
Are shopping bags and items checked when you return home?
Are you always being accused of wasting money?
Do you rely solely on your partner for living expenses and are made to feel guilty about it?
Applying for credit is another method of gaining financial control over you; your abuser may suggest you take out credit cards solely in your name.
The same applies to household bills; it may be strongly recommended that all bills are in your name with your partner not agreeing to take any responsibility over the finances.
Any form of control in a relationship is unhealthy and an abusive relationship is based upon control.
Financial abuse is easy for abusers to hide; there are no signs or warnings to outsiders. You may not even realise that this is happening to you.
We don’t normally discuss our financial circumstances with other people so it’s not likely a victim of financial abuse would seek help or support.
It’s easy to become trapped, you have no money to leave an abusive relationship even if you wanted too, and ladled with debt you become cornered.
Sadly leaving an abusive relationship is never easy but there is support available and there is help to be taken if you want it. You just have to ask for it.
Breaking the cycle of abuse is difficult but can be achieved. I personally spent 11 years in an abusive marriage, I have been free for 6 years now.
It can be done.
You do not have to live this way, you do have a choice.