Financial abuse can happen in any relationship, not just those that are romantic. For example, between family members or even an adult and their support worker. Vulnerable adults are also common victims of financial abuse, which can include the elderly and those with physical or learning disabilities.
It can be hard for people to spot the signs of financial abuse, as it could be something small and difficult to spot, or something more serious. The topic of money and finances can often cause arguments and pressure, but not all money issues are considered financial abuse.
It becomes financial abuse when there is a regular pattern of control, persuasion or lying. This can often be difficult to pinpoint. Financial abuse can take many forms, some examples of it are:
- Not giving someone money or giving them an ‘allowance’
- Not giving someone access to their bank accounts
- Refusing to work, pay bills or contribute towards household income
- Forcing someone to take out unwanted credit
- Forcing someone to give money
- Forcing someone to write bad cheques or file fraudulent tax returns
- Taking out large amounts of debt on joint accounts
- Forcing someone to work without pay
- Preventing someone from going to work or stopping work opportunities
- Stealing a person’s identity, property or inheritance
- Not paying child support, or manipulating a divorce process by hiding or not announcing assets