If your partner tightly controls your money, or spends it selfishly and recklessly, you might be experiencing financial abuse.
Financial abuse includes:
- Making you account for every penny you spend
- Making you ask for money when you need it
- Limiting you to an allowance
- Not letting you have a bank account
- Keeping you in the dark about family finances
- Denying you and the children basic things you need (like food, clothes, heating or bus fares)
- Spending money you don’t have on going out, alcohol, drugs, gambling or luxuries
- Stopping you from getting or keeping a job
- Making you work long hours to support their spending
- Stealing from you
- Taking your money and blaming you for it
- Running up debts in your name fraudulently (without you knowing)
- Making you take out loans under duress (against your will)
If you can’t make ends meet, life is a daily struggle. You might lie awake worrying about how to pay bills or how you’ll feed the kids. You might feel unable to leave your partner because they control all the money and you have nothing. Or you might feel crippled by debts and unable to move on with your life.
It is very common for people experiencing domestic abuse to have less control over their finances and to be left with debts when the relationship ends. Specialist services working with domestic abuse survivors find that their clients often have:
- Rent arrears from previous tenancies and current tenancies.
- High interest credit lending (from shops and door stop lenders)
- Less income than they should because they aren’t claiming all the benefits they are entitled to