In some ways, financial abuse is even easier for abusers to hide; there are no tell-tale bruises provoking awkward questions. People are often reluctant to discuss their finances, even with friends and family. This makes it even harder for people to reach out for support or question whether a situation is normal. If a partner is preventing someone from having financial independence then they could be considered financially abusive. It may include:
controlling all bank accounts or benefits
demanding that all money spent is accounted for
stealing or demanding the other partner's money
making someone steal, beg or borrow for them
preventing someone from spending money on themselves or their children
making the other person be responsible for all financial matters (including bills and debts) and working but not contributing themselves
Victims can become trapped in a cycle of poverty, causing physical and mental ill-health, a lack of confidence and feelings of isolation. Debt and limited funds only increase the sense of isolation, of being trapped and unable to escape an unhappy, abusive relationship, particularly when there are children to think about.
Some research indicates that younger people in relationships are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse as they have not yet had chance to develop sound financial judgement and may not recognise it, particularly where there is no other 'obvious' abuse to encourage them to consider it.