When people think of abuse, what comes to mind is usually physical abuse, followed by sexual, emotional or psychological abuse. Financial, or economic, abuse is another way batterers control their partners to keep them in a relationship. It’s a very powerful form of abuse that, like other types of abuse, often begins subtly and progressives over time.
In the beginning, a partner might make taking care of joint finances seem like an act of kindness, offering to take the burden off the other partner’s shoulders. But over time, the abuser takes more and more control, allowing the survivor less and less access to money, thereby making him or her increasingly more financially dependent on the abuser.
“Financial abuse is often neglected in the assessment of domestic violence,” says Sherry Hamby, Ph.D., author of Battered Women’s Protective Strategies: Stronger Than You Know. “But it is a really huge issue. There are a lot of ways batterers can affect abuse.”
So how do you know if you’re the victim of financial abuse? Ask yourself if your partner does any of the following.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a victim of financial abuse. To talk to an advocate 24/7, who can help you with advice and next steps, call the Martha’s House Hotline at 863.763.0202.