Financial abuse is one of the most powerful methods of keeping a survivor trapped in a way that the abuser can gain power and control in a relationship. This type of abuse is commonly present throughout the relationship or can begin subtle and progress over time.

The masterful mind of an abuser may make you feel like you are being taken care of and the stressful load of finances is taken off your back. You may feel like you can trust this person you absolutely love and adore because he is so charming, when in fact over time you might start to see that he is controlling you through your finances. Sometimes it might feel like it is too late when you realize what is happening and your account has been emptied , along with having no access to any financial means.

The mind of a batterer when controlling finances can be very tricky. Especially when you have no family or anyone to help you get out, since you lost the availability to your bank account. Being threatened by your batterer is also common. The batterer might threaten to harm you or your children if you leave. The batterer might say you are a bad mother because you have no financial means to care for your children. These are some tactics the batterer uses to control you. Other common methods of control may include:

  • Withholding money or giving an allowance
  • Running up large amounts of debt on joint accounts
  • Withholding funds for the victim or children to obtain basic needs such as food, medicine, clothes or shelter
  • Forcing the victim to hand over their entire paycheck or pay all the bills
  • Belittling and calling names such as “selfish” and “greedy” when the victim buys personal items
  • Putting all the bills and property in the abuser’s name so they can have the power/phone/cable turned off as “punishment”

Financial abuse is just one of the ways an abuser controls their victim and is seldom the only type of abuse that is happening. It is often included with other methods of abuse; physical, emotional, sexual, religious, and mental abuse.

If you, or someone you know is experiencing abuse of any kind, you can call the Alliance office and talk to an advocate for options and support. 541.592.2515. Our office is now located at 103 South Kerby Ave., Cave Junction, OR 97523.