We have talked about relationship abuse and it’s many forms. You can visit our page, what is domestic violence to learn about the types of abuse. We have focused on emotional abuse, technological abuse, sexual abuse, and more. Now we are going to focus on another specific type of abuse, financial or economic abuse.


Remember: We define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.



financial abuseFinancial/economic abuse?


Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.



What exactly does that mean?


  • Sabotaging employment by calling you or visiting you excessively at work, bosses can have a problem with this if it impacts the employee’s ability to work.
  • Forbidding you from working or forcing you to work while they do not. This should be a joint decision, not something controlled and forced by one partner.
  • Controlling how money is spent, or possibly only giving you an “allowance” without direct access to bank accounts.
  • Running up large debts on joint accounts without your knowledge or consent, if it is a joint account both people have a say on what happens with it.
  • Refusing to pay bills that could ruin your credit, or applying for credit accounts using your information without your consent.
  • Giving gifts or paying for something while expecting something in return.


Impacts of financial abuse:


“Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year. The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year. Between 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse. Between 2003 and 2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by their abuser, 78% of women killed in the workplace during this timeframe”



If you or someone you know needs help, contact The Shelter to speak with a trained advocate, 800-931-7233

In an emergency call 9-1-1.


Domestic Violence Shelters. (n.d.). 16 signs of financial abuse. Retrieved from: https://www.domesticshelters.org/domestic-violence-lists/signs-of-financial-abuse?q=15#list-scroll
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Statistics. Retrieved from: https://ncadv.org/statistics
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