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How financial abuse develops and affects victims

Financial abuse can be as damaging as other types, even though it's not violent or physical in nature. Here's more information on this kind of domestic abuse.

What kinds of financial abuse occur?

One type of financial abuse is when a person is forced to take a certain career path that he or she didn't want to take. For example, if a woman would want to be involved in a career in the Arts, a controlling partner may say that she instead has to do a degree in business since it would pay better. Another situation would be if a partner sabotages her career by forcing her to stay home. This could make her lose her job, or it could result in an ultimatum in which she has to decide if she wants to quit her job or end her relationship.

How can you recognize financial abuse?

One of the major signs is that the victim has no access to personal bank accounts. The victim may not have a debit card or savings account. All the money in the relationship would come from one source, and that source would be the partner who is working or in control of the finances. This places the victim in a position where he or she has no ability to care for him or herself and has to rely on his or her partner. In situations where the victim works, his or her partner may take all the money and deposit it into a separate account without that person being allowed to touch it without permission.

Financial abuse is most obvious when the person who is controlling the finances threatens to leave, making it impossible for the victim to take care of him or herself. By making such a threat, the partner establishes control over the victim and puts them in a position where he or she must comply to provide for him or herself. If this is happening to you or someone you know, a restraining order and help is available and takes only a single call to a legal professional.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Financial Abuse: 6 Signs and What You Can Do About it," Ginger Dean, accessed Oct. 26, 2016

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