Financial Abuse - Signs, Causes and Prevention

Financial Abuse - Signs, Causes and Prevention


Financial Abuse is a type of abuse where the victim is controlled, manipulated, and the  amount the victim can use or spend is limited or controlled; or their money is misused by  others. It can mostly be seen in the parent-child relationship, between siblings, or in between  partners or spouses. In such cases, where the victim is financially abused, their money is  stolen by others, and a limit has been set on the amount they get or can spend. Mostly the  people who need medical care, or someone who is a victim of physical or domestic violence,  or someone who has a learning disability and women are the ones who are at more risk of  being financially abused.  


Signs of Financial Abuse  


Financial abuse can be of many types, and signs of such are as follows


✔ When someone takes or borrows money but does not return it. 


✔ When someone steals money or something valuable. 


✔ When someone charges money for visiting them.


✔ When someone refuses to give or takes away someone else’s payment.


✔ When someone is forced to sell their property away even if they do not have the  consent for it.  


✔ When someone is tricked into making or falling for some bad investments.


✔ When someone is forced to change their will. 


✔ When a partner is asked to give complete details of their spending or their spending are  limited.  


✔ When someone has a lack of money to pay for their bills, rent, or food because their  pocket money or earnings are reduced. 


✔ When someone else controls or keeps a check on the bank details, savings of the  victim. 


✔ When someone takes away all the finances of someone else and declares themselves  as the in-charge of all the household income and finances. 


✔ When someone controls on how all the money should be spent by others in the family. 


✔ When someone is forcefully made to work for the family business but are not paid for  the same.  


✔ When someone is forced to put their signatures on documents that are related to  property or other finances. 


✔ When someone is stopped from earning their own money. 


✔ When someone is forced to stop studying.  


✔ When family members are not given the access to the bank accounts.


✔ Threatening someone or pulling them towards Divorce in order to get a tremendous  amount of money from their partner.


✔ Threatening people of not giving them money if they disagree with the abuser. 


✔ Forcing others to spent money only after taking permission, when they themselves  spend money freely without any permission.  


✔ Criticizing someone for every single financial decision made by them. 


✔ Telling their partners that they cannot work and preventing them from working by  using methods such as hiding their car keys, or burning or spoiling their dress etc.


✔ Taking some one else’s credit card or money without taking their permission.


✔ Trying to have control on the money earned by someone else. 


These are some of the ways but there are many other ways used by a financial abuser.


Prevention of Financial Abuse:


It is crucial to recognize financial abuse and take steps to prevent it before ultimately  becoming a victim for it. 


When someone financially abuses someone else their prime motive is greed and make the  other person dependent on them. Some people find it romantic to be financially abused by  their partner, but in reality it is not romantic at all, instead the real motive of the abuser here  is to control or manipulate their partner to do things according to them as they might feel  weak or insecure.  


Financial abusers usually targets people who have low self-esteem or are weak. Therefore  the first step for not being a victim of financial abuse is to boost our self esteem. If we are not  weak then it makes it difficult for others to abuse us financially. If we ourselves are not able  to increase our self-esteem, then we can take help from some counselor who would help us  do the same. We should also be friends with people of different age groups, this will help us  understand more and hence will make it easier to recognize such people. We shouldn’t let  anyone to check our phone or our emails unless its necessary because the financial abuser  will use all these as a medium to check the status of our bank accounts. We should also not  share our ATM PIN with anyone and also should keep our bank cards, money, and valuable  properties in a safe spot. We should also never sign a blank check as someone might put a  considerable amount and might steal money from us. There are chances that a person with  substance abuse and someone who is domestic violence to be a financial abuser as well.  


Aleena Thakurta

Aleena Thakurta

Intern at Psychowellness Center