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If a woman’s access to money and other economic resources is taken away, how does she regain control of her life?

It is through financial abuse that many perpetrators create a barrier to leaving. This means a woman may feel forced into staying with an abusive partner for longer, experiencing greater danger, injuries or even homicide as a result.

Tactics of financial abuse may include;

  • Preventing someone from working
  • Taking control of bank accounts or taking credit cards without permission
  • Using or misusing money, such as gambling with family assets
  • Putting contractual obligations in a partner’s name

In many cases, other abusive and violent behaviours will be used to threaten and reinforce financial abuse.

A woman may be left with no money for basic essentials, without access to her own bank account and with debts built up by an abusive partner set against her name.

If her credit card is ruined, she can’t get an apartment, if an abuser harasses her at work, she can lose her job.

Independence can feel impossible.

While domestic violence and abuse is often a complex issue, having access to the right resources can aid people in getting away from abusive relationships. The work, however, doesn’t end there. Services must also be available to support people dealing with the trauma of abuse.

Raising awareness

Firstly, it is important to know that financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse. Manipulating someone’s access to money and economic resources is one of the most prominent forms of coercive control and often leaves people feeling trapped in violent and abusive relationships.

Understanding financial abuse can help us to realise that abuse may have a far-reaching, lasting impact on the lives of survivors, even after the abusive relationship is over.

Anawim’s office can be contacted on 0121 440 5296.

While our own services are specialised for women, financial abuse and other forms of domestic abuse and violence can be experienced by anyone. Men can contact Respect’s helpline on 0808 8010327 to speak with someone about domestic abuse.

LGBT+ and anti-violence charity Galop provide a national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ domestic abuse helpline on 0800 999 5428. They can also provide support for those who have experienced hate crime and sexual violence.