What Is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse occurs in about 98% of abusive relationships. Unfortunately, about 78% of Americans do not recognize financial abuse as a legitimate form of domestic violence. The following article will provide some helpful information about financial abuse in relationships, including the effects of financial abuse and how to identify some of the warning signs.
What is considered financial abuse?
Financial abuse is defined as a tactic that an abuser uses to gain financial control in a relationship. The purpose of this type of abuse is to ensure that the victim depends on the abuser for financial survival and could also be used to manipulate, humiliate, or demean the victim.
What are some potential effects of financial abuse?
Just like physical or sexual abuse, the effects of financial abuse can be devastating and long-lasting. Some of these effects include the following:
- Ruined credit: 59% of financial abuse victims have reported that their credit was severely harmed by their abuser’s actions. Ruined credit can have very damaging consequences and can take several years to repair.
- Lost jobs: 53% of financial abuse victims have reported that they have lost a job due to their abuser’s actions. This can happen for various reasons, such as an abuser who constantly appears at the victim’s workplace to intimidate and harass her. She may believe that quitting is a better option than to deal with the public shame her abuser has continually forced her to endure. In some other cases, an abuser might actually force a victim to terminate her employment.
- Unemployment: 70% of financial abuse victims have reported that their abusers did not even allow them to have a job. This can be extremely detrimental, as being unemployed requires the victim to completely depend on her abuser for financial survival. Furthermore, even if she is able to escape her abuser, without the proper job skills, it will be difficult for her to financially provide for herself and any children she may have.
What are some warning signs of financial abuse?
There are several warning signs that can help people identify financial abuse in relationships. Some of these warning signs include the abuser:
- Forbidding the victim from working
- Withholding money or giving the victim an “allowance”
- Refusing to include the victim in important financial decisions
- Ruining the victim’s credit score by refusing to make necessary payments
- Acquiring large amounts of debt on the victim’s credit cards
- Forcing the victim to relinquish public benefits (for example, unemployment checks)
- Stalking or harassing the victim at her place of work, which could cause her to be fired
- Forcing the victim to write bad checks or file fraudulent tax returns
- Refusing to allow the victim to open bank accounts in her own name
- Monitoring or recording every expense that the victim makes
Have You Been Subjected to Financial Abuse? Contact an Orlando Family Law Attorney
If you believe that you have been subjected to financial abuse, Arwani Law Firm is here to help. Our Orlando family law attorneys have extensive experience litigating domestic violence cases. Contact us today to schedule a time to speak with our office.