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Spotting The Signs Of Financial And Economic Abuse

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Posted on 08 Sep 2023

Financial abuse is a very serious form of domestic abuse and is more common than you would think.  The signs of financial abuse can often be difficult to spot. Lisa Harbour, Associate in the Family Law Team at Swayne Johnson Solicitors says:-


Financial abuse involves controlling a victim’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain financial resources often over an extended period.  It’s a very powerful form of abuse because it limits a victim’s ability to help resulting in them staying in abusive relationships for longer.


Economic abuse is broader as it includes controlling access to and use of things like transport and technology (which allow us to work and stay connected), food and clothing. It can include destroying items and refusing to contribute to household costs.  


Possible signs of financial and / or economic abuse are:-


  • Monitoring bank accounts, asking to see receipts, providing a limited ‘allowance’ to live off or refusing to discuss the household finances.
  • Preventing you from working or insisting that you limit your hours, without good reason. Sometimes they may not say this, but they may make you feel guilty for working in the hope that you will choose to stop doing so.
  • Taking out debt in your name without your knowledge or forcing you to take out liabilities for their own benefit.
  • Forcing you to pay all joint outgoings, despite them having the means to contribute towards the same.
  • Limiting your use of joint assets, for example the family car.
  • Monitoring your tech devices


Taking the first steps to break free of financial abuse may seem scary, but you don’t have to do it alone – there is help available. 

Contact a member of our friendly, discreet team on 01745812835.

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