Every year, thousands of people search the web for the phrase ‘financial abuse’. Many find their way to my website. I suspect most of those searches are by women.
They search for information because they are trapped in relationships in which they fear their mate, or don’t know their legal rights. Perhaps they fear for their children and don’t know where to get help. They also know that their mate is capable of escalated abuse.
That’s why it’s important for women to understand that financial control can be a precursor to future physical and emotional abuse. Women find out too late that the husband or boyfriend won’t talk about money. He is really saying “I’m in charge here”.
Many wives suffer in silence, thinking that such controlling behavior is a personality quirk. It’s not a quirk; it’s a sign and you should pay attention to it. It’s not protective; it’s not loving. It’s a desire to control the relationship. If you’re married, you are legally entitled to know what’s happening financially in your marriage.
You may know someone who you suspect is financially abused. On the other hand, you may not know that your neighbor, acquaintance or friend is a financial hostage because she won’t tell you. She’s afraid to rock the boat, fearful for her children, knowing that her hands are tied financially.
You may know her husband, and never suspect a thing. He’s not out of control or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He can be charming, an upstanding member of the community, the life of the party. He can also be a control freak with the intent to isolate his wife into a state of total financial dependence.
Beware these Signs of Financial Abuse
Controlling the finances.
Withholding money or credit cards.
Giving you an allowance.
Making you account for every penny you spend.
Stealing from you or using your money without asking.
Exploiting your assets for personal gain
Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter).
Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.
Sabotaging your job (making you miss work or calling constantly, etc.)
If something about your relationship with your husband or partner scares you and you need to talk, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or go to http://www.nrcdv.org
If you know someone who needs this information, please pass it on. It could be a life saver for her.