Economic abuse takes place when someone limits, controls or denies access to money or the ability to earn money. Like other forms of abuse, it is aimed at controlling the victim.
An abuser may:
- refuse your access to money, bank accounts, credit cards
- refuse to give you money for food, rent, clothing or medicine
- give you an allowance and monitor your spending
- take your paycheck
- steal your money or property
- sell your property without your permission
- spend all the household money before financial obligations are paid
- refuse to pay bills; ruin your credit
- punish you by cancelling your accounts (car/homeowner’s/renter’s/medical insurance, credit cards, bank accounts)
- max out your credit cards without your permission
- obtain credit in your name without your permission
- not allow you to go to school
- forbid you to work
- not allow you to have a vehicle
- prevent you from going to work by disabling the car, taking the car or the car keys away
- cause you to take time off of work, by force or through physical or emotional trauma
- cause you to lose your job
Facts about economic abuse:
- It is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. It is also a form of social abuse.
- It can lead to physical abuse.
- It does not have to happen every day, every week or often.
- Many forms of economic abuse are illegal.
Emotional and psychological effects include withdrawal, anxiety, substance abuse, depression and suicide. There are also physical consequences such as headaches, ulcers, gastric disturbances, weight gain, weight loss and poor nutrition.
You have a right to earn your own money and a right to have access to it.
Abuse is never acceptable, in any form. If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, contact a coalition in your state or any of these organizations that may apply to your situation:
The National Domestic Violence Helpline 800-799-SAFE (7233)
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 866-331-9474
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)
ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)