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Recognizing and Escaping Financial Abuse in Relationships


Financial abuse is a form of domestic violence that affects both men and women. It is often difficult to recognize, as it can be subtle and hard to detect. Financial control in an abusive relationship usually involves one partner controlling all the finances, including withholding money or assets from the other person. This type of abuse can lead to severe psychological and financial consequences.

In order to recognize financial abuse, there are certain warning signs you should look for in your relationship. These include: one partner is always making all the decisions about finances; one partner is controlling access to money or assets; one partner is preventing the other from getting a job or going to school; and one partner is using verbal threats and intimidation to control the other’s financial decisions.

5 key steps to prepare to leave a financial abuse situation:

  1. Start building an emergency fund. Set aside money each month to a savings account that the abusive partner doesn't know about. This can help you have funds available when you leave or if you become unemployed after leaving.

  2. Open an individual bank account and credit card in your name only. This will allow you to have financial independence from your abuser.

  3. Secure copies of all important documents, including your birth certificate, Social Security card, driver’s license, bank account information, and credit card records.

  4. Make a safety plan for yourself and others in the household that identifies potential risks and escape routes if needed.

  5. Contact local domestic violence shelters, and legal and other support services for additional assistance.


The process of leaving a financial abuse situation can be difficult, but it is possible. It is important to remember that you have the power to make changes in your life and break free from this form of violence. With the right resources, support, and guidance, you can take back control of your finances and gain financial freedom.

It is also important to remember that there are laws in place to protect victims of financial abuse. Federal law prohibits creditors from discriminating against victims of domestic violence, and several states have passed laws to protect victims from financial exploitation.

No one should ever feel psychologically or financially trapped in an abusive relationship. With the right resources and support, you can take steps to recognize, prevent, and escape this form of abuse. So take the first step towards financial freedom today and reach out for help.

Recognizing the warning signs of financial abuse can help you identify it early and take steps to prevent or escape it. Remember, no one has the right to control your finances in an abusive way and there is help available if you find yourself in this situation. Take action today to break the chains of financial abuse and protect yourself from harm.

Finally, it's important to remember that you are not alone and that help is available. Seek supportive family and friends who will understand your situation and provide non-judgmental support. Talk with a counselor or therapist, join a support group, or connect with an advocate who can provide resources and guidance.

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