The National Network to End Domestic Violence has provided the following material on Financial Abuse.
Financial abuse is a common tactic used by abusers to gain power and control in a relationship. The forms of financial abuse may be subtle or overt but in in general, include tactics to conceal information, limit the victim’s access to assets, or reduce accessibility to the family finances. Financial abuse – along with emotional, physical, and sexual abuse – includes behaviors to intentionally manipulate, intimidate, and threaten the victim in order to entrap that person in the relationship. In some cases, financial abuse is present throughout the relationship and in other cases financial abuse becomes present when the survivor is attempting to leave or has left the relationship.
Financial abuse, while less commonly understood, is one of the most powerful methods of keeping a survivor trapped in an abusive relationship and deeply diminishes the victim’s ability to stay safe after leaving an abusive partner. Research indicates that financial abuse occurs in 99% of domestic violence cases. Surveys of survivors reflect that concerns over their ability to provide financially for themselves and their children was one of the top reason for staying in or returning to an abusive partner. As with all forms of abuse, financial abuse occurs across all socio-economic, educational, and racial and ethnic groups.