What is Financial Abuse?

This article isn't about elder financial abuse, although that is indeed a form of financial abuse, this article is specific to the type of financial abuse that occurs in narcissistic and abusive relationships.


Financial abuse is is a common tactic used by abusive partners to gain power and control in a relationship. The tactics used are very varied in nature, but always revolve around finances and money, and are intended to keep their victims stuck in the relationship.


Financial abuse occurs in 98% of abusive relationships, and nearly 3 in 10 women have experienced domestic violence in the United States. As with all forms of abuse, financial abuse knows no boundaries and can occur across all educational, sexual-orientation, socio-economic, racial, and ethnic groups.


Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you are in a financially abusive relationship as there are many different tactics the abuser can use. The abuser can withhold access to funds, by not allowing you to access the accounts or by putting you on an "allowance", or by forbidding you to work altogether! The abuser can also make it difficult for you to get training or take a job by not watching children, physically abusing you before an interview, or causing problems where you work, all with the intention of making it impossible for you to earn an income.


Abusive partners can run up excessive credit card debt in your name, and ruin your credit. They can make you apply for loans in your name and use the funds, they can force you to falsify tax returns or make false insurance claims. All in an attempt to financially ruin you so that you are fully dependent upon them financially.


They will often refuse to pay child support, or manipulate their income so as to lessen the amount of assistance you should be approved for.


Those who are financially abused are often fearful of leaving and becoming homeless because their credit has been ruined, and so they feel stuck and