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What Is Financial Abuse?

What Is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse is one aspect of domestic abuse that can occur with or without the commonly associated violence which occurs from both genders in unhealthy relationships. If you are currently experiencing financial or domestic abuse or have in the recent past please report it to the relevant authorities, leave the situation if at all possible, and explore your options.

No one should have to deal with financial related difficulties or any other type of abuse, but with some planning you’ll know how to deal with the issue and the debt caused by it.

Identifying Financial Abuse

One form is where either partner will not let the other work at all, insisting that he or she stay home and deal with affairs there. This can sometimes be an agreed upon situation with no abuse present.

If you are in this situation and desire to change it, mention it to your partner, and if he or she becomes angry or threatening at the idea of you working or leaving the house, then you know you are dealing with the first stages of abuse of this manner.

An example of another form of financial abuse would be where one partner has extremely bad credit, so they will manipulate their partner to let them use good credit to make purchases for items. This may seem innocuous at first, but this can be abused over time or if the relationship enters troubled times.

Furthermore, it could come in the form of tracking, or penny pinching. Every dollar or penny earned would be watched by one partner in the relationship. If anything is spent on something that was not agreed upon, violence could occur, or at the very least verbal abuse and even threats to leave, which would put the abused in a position where there was no support. With no idea how to deal with such abuse, a person could be stuck in this situation for years, or even life.

How To Get Out Of Financial Abuse

Threatening to leave when one has control over the other’s well being is in itself a form of such abuse. This is the most common form, and is often not argued against by the abused since they already know that if they spoke up they would potentially be struggling majorly, asking friends and family for support. This kind of abuse can manifest itself in small and subtle ways without the abuser ever voicing an actual threat.

Being at home, doing nothing all day, yet forcing your partner to work and bring home the money in which you exclusively control is yet another side of how to deal with financial abuse. This is less common but has been seen more often in physically abusive relationships.

Any word of this situation to an outsider or family can result in more threats of violence later on. When children are involved it makes it even harder, because of the perceived burden put on them if the relationship were to dissolve.

Having children repeatedly to the point where the woman is forced to stay home and take care of them all the time, as well as tend to the needs of her spouse is yet another form of this abuse.

There may be no perceived danger at first but then it becomes apparent that there will never be any freedom financially or physically from the cycle of taking care of more and more children, rising expenses and expectations from the children themselves and the partner.

This can also encompass and accompany elder abuse as well. Manipulating one’s older relatives to place oneself in it where they weren’t before, or any modifications benefiting the offending party, are also forms of misconduct.

This is also side by side with other obvious forms of misconduct such as obtaining the power of attorney and the depriving them of property, money, or even evicting them from their own home.


On the other hand, misconduct of any type previously listed could just as well prevent the abused from obtaining an education or furthering their work experience. This, over time can destroy the will of the abused to fight for a better situation or even dream that one is possible.

They may even not believe they are being abused, if they have decided the role is comfortable for them, more so than trying to be able to be independent if they wanted to. A person in this situation would not only not know how to deal with financial abuse, they would not believe them if you told them they were being abused, or at least not admit it easily.

Threats from family to their children also qualify. When the child does not do as he or she is told, and then the parents threaten to take away money or items bought by the child from mowing lawns or allowances or given to the child, this too is a way of how to deal with financial abuse.

This can come in the form of also threatening to not pay for college, help with living expenses, or just plain threats of kicking the children out of the house right at the age of 18 due to personal grudges, with no help or support. Items may be confiscated when the child is a minor, and then never returned or even sold by the parent in a perceived attempt to recover their expenses from having to raise an ungrateful or seemingly unappreciative child.

Support For Financial Abuse

We can help you find out how to deal with financial abuse when it comes to the debt accrued from any shady practices or financial abuse forced upon you in any type of relationship.

If you would like to discuss managing the debt itself, Debt Mediators can provide you with the stepping stones to overcoming this situation. If you are still in a bad situation currently, ensure you explore your options thoroughly beforehand.

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