What is financial abuse?
Financial abuse is one form of domestic abuse. Withholding money, stealing money, and restricting the use of finances are some examples of financial abuse. To figure out if your partner is financially abusing you, think about how you are being treated by answering the following questions.
Does your partner:
- Steal money from you or your family?
- Force you to give him/her access to your bank accounts to make transactions without your input?
- Make you feel as though you don’t have a right to know any details about money or household resources?
- Put you on an “allowance” even if you object to this?
- Force to you to account for all money you spend by, for example, asking for receipts?
- Prevent you from working or attending school or skill-training sessions?
- Overuse your credit cards or refuse to pay the bills (thus ruining your credit)?
- Withhold physical resources from you including food, clothes, necessary medications or shelter?
- Force you to turn over your paychecks or public benefit payments?
- Force you to cash in, sell or sign over any financial assets you own (e.g., bonds, stock or property)?
- Force you to agree to power-of-attorney so s/he can sign legal documents?
- Force you to work in a family business for little or no pay?1
If you have answered “yes” to more than one of these questions, your partner may be financially abusing you. Where there is financial abuse, there may also likely be other forms of abuse in your relationship. To see if you are being emotionally, physically, or sexually abused, you can go to the following pages on our website: Am I Being Abused? and Domestic Violence.
1 Information adapted from The Allstate Foundation’s & NNEDV’s “Moving Ahead Through Financial Empowerment Curriculum”