What is Financial Abuse?

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse is where one person attempts to control the household finances to the detriment of a spouse.

One person may restrict another person’s access to money or their means of earning money.

It is not common to see on its own but rather it occurs simultaneously as other forms of abuse (physical, verbal, mental).

Financial abuse is not “S/he holds onto my keycard because I’ve lost it 3 times so far this year!” or “I’ll have to check with my partner before I make that big ticket purchase” or “Let’s go through the budget and work out what we’ve got left after the bills…..so we’ve got $50 surplus for you to go to the markets/dinner with friends/movies this weekend”

Financial abuse sounds like:

What did you buy for $9.95 at 11.14 this morning? I thought we discussed you wouldn’t buy anything without checking with me first?

“You don’t need to get a job. I need you to stay at home for me. I’ll support you. Don’t stress about it.”

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about complicated things. I’ll take care of all the bills, cheques, statements and income because I love you so much.”

“You should tell me your PIN number and bank passwords since we’re official now. That’s what couples who love each other do. It’s about trust and respect.”

“Do you really need another packet of pads, razors, deodrant, panadol, socks?”

“Here’s your allowance for this week. Make sure you keep the receipts so I know where it’s going.”

Financial abuse feels like:

Needing permission before spending anything, even a couple of dollars.

Mentally adding up every dollar in the grocery store so you don’t spend too much.

Going without your own little luxuries or even essentials because it usually causes a problem.

Denying you access to your own money and refusing to give you any for food, medical care and essentials.

It is using your credit cards or accounts without your permission or hiding your car keys so you can’t get to work, harassing you at work to get you fired or accusing you of cheating with a colleague so you stop wanting to go.

What else do you know of?