Domestic Abuse: He's Holding You Hostage by Controlling the Money
If you are in an abusive relationship, it's virtually certain that you are suffering financial abuse.
Here's something that we don't usually hear about, but is a massive problem:
Financial abuse occurs in up to 98% of abusive relationships and is one of the top reasons that it is difficult for people to leave.
Big thanks to Jullieth Cragwell, Outreach Coordinator at Annuity.org for contacting us and providing some resources.
Types of Financial Abuse
Taking control of the finances away from you. Think about this -- it is a powerful control mechanism to keep you from leaving.
Putting you on an allowance so you don't have access to your money. He might couch this as "protecting" you or "relieving" from the stress of managing the finances.
Draining your resources with reckless spending on gambling, drugs, or 'mysterious' activities. I met a divorced woman that described her ex's out-of-control spending on "collectibles" like action figures and model cars. I wondered how someone could possibly spend that much money on these kinds of activities, but one possible answer is that the collectibles spending is a cover for other betrayals such as a mistress, drugs, or gambling.
Outright stealing money from you. Then he gaslights you trying to convince you that you've made a mistake, you are always blaming him, how he doesn't deserve this kind of accusations, etc.
We mostly talk about physical and emotional abuse, but we don't often talk about the financial abuse. And yet, it's a huge problem and a giant red flag. According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, financial abuse occurs in 98% of abusive relationships and plays a huge role in preventing victims from escaping those situations.
Below is a link to an online guide from Annuity.org which covers:
- What financial abuse is
- The warning signs
- Ways to tell if someone is being financially abused
- Helpful resources and more
If you recognize this type of financial abuse in your relationship, please go to the resources above from Annuity.org yourself on how to reach out for help while developing an exit strategy. If you recognize this type of financial abuse in someone else's relationship, please reach out to them and offer your help and these resources so they may escape from the abusive relationship.