What Is Financial Abuse?
The least spoken about form of abuse, yet the #1 reason people stay in or return to an abusive relationship is Financial Abuse. Generally when people talk about abuse, one’s mind goes to physical, sexual, emotional, but we never seem to talk about the financial abuse that is present in nearly every (more than 99%) of domestic violence cases.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse is the control of one’s ability to acquire, use and/or maintain money by an intimate partner or parental figure.
It is a silent form of abuse that is nor recognizable and is completely legal!!!!!
More than 78% of Americans do not even recognize this as abuse. It is subtle and slow and almost always attached to the “This is just how relationships work” stigma – that’s how they get away with it!
Financial abuse is extremely manipulative and completely strips one down to nothing, filling them with fear and shame.
Embarrassment that their life has taken this turn.
Confusion at what is happening To them by someone who is supposed to love them.
What Financial Abuse Looks Like
It may start with a partner encouraging you to quit your job or work less. They offer to “generously” give you an allowance, forming a sort of control over you.
The abuser may cut your access to bank accounts, utility bills, household payments – reassuring you that you shouldn’t have to deal with those things. Really they are restricting your access to the outside world.
They may demand your entire paycheck, if you are allowed to get one. They will have many, many stipulations on what type of job you “should” have and usually have problems with any job you take, eventually convincing you to quit, after all it’s easier than fighting right…?!
Before you know it, they are in complete control. Maybe they pay your bills, maybe they don’t. Maybe they are hiding money and big purchases for themselves, maybe they aren’t. They make any and all financial decisions and you have to beg for even just gas money – which they will hold over you until you do as they wish. You simply do not know what is going on financially for you or your family.
What does financial abuse do to a person?
It makes it extremely difficult – darn near impossible if you ask me, for a person to establish any independence and long-term stability for themselves. Their self-esteem is pretty much gone, they are living in a hypervigilant state not thinking clearly, just trying to survive.
The key to getting out of this type of abuse is getting help. It is learning that it is in fact abusive and not ok, figuring out the signs of it, understanding the impact it is having on your life, and believing in yourself enough to take that first, painful step of reaching out.
If you are ready, contact me here.
Even if you are not, join our conversation here on Conscious Straight Talk as we talk more about the signs of financial abuse and what you can do for yourself or a loved one in this situation.
Cheers to sharing, exploring and growing together!
Malibu Mama Loves Xx