Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse and is a way of having power over you. It involves someone else controlling your spending or access to cash, assets and finances. This can leave you feeling isolated, lacking in confidence and trapped.
Sometimes (but not always) financial abuse will be recognised by the police as coercive or controlling behaviour, which is also a criminal offence.
You do not have to be living with the person for the coercive or controlling behaviour offence to apply. Financial abuse can continue, or even start, after separation.
Financial abuse can take different forms and can happen to anyone of any age. Abusers can be partners, ex-partners, family members or others, such as carers.
Financial abuse is often part of wider economic abuse.
Economic abuse can include:
- stopping you from going to work, college or university,
- causing you to lose out on benefits by not letting you go to appointments at the Jobcentre or apply for jobs, and
- controlling your access to essential things, such as food, clothing or transport.