Understanding economic abuse – why your voice matters this Talk Money Week

What is economic abuse?

For Talk Money Week 2023, we’re teaming up with Payplan to raise awareness of economic abuse and the support available for victims.

Economic abuse is a form of domestic abuse that involves a pattern of controlling, coercive, or harmful behaviour where finances are used as a means to gain power and control over an individual.

Economic abuse often occurs alongside other forms of abuse, making it even more challenging to recognise. It also commonly continues to occur after leaving an abuser, as an element of post-separation abuse.

There are many forms of economic abuse; however, it will usually involve manipulative and controlling behaviour. Below are some examples of economic abuse.

  • Controlling finances – The abuser will take complete control of your bank account, income and credit cards, meaning that you’re fully reliant on them financially.
  • Taking out credit in your name – The abuser will force you into debt by taking out a loan or credit card in your name, leaving you responsible for repaying a debt you didn’t know you had.
  • Forcing financial dependence – The abuser will set up a situation where you’re reliant on them financially – such as persuading you to purchase something you can’t afford the monthly repayments on and offering to help pay towards them. This may seem like a nice gesture at the time, but it can be used to control and make it difficult to leave the relationship.
  • Financial blackmail – The abuser will use threats of sharing financial information to manipulate and control their victim.
  • Interfering with employment – An abuser may sabotage your career or employment or make it difficult to attend work or gain employment. This is done so you’ll be reliant on them financially.

What should you do if you need support?

If you feel that you’re experiencing economic abuse or you’ve been a victim in the past, there is support available. Often, your abuser will try to limit access to support or persuade you that you aren’t a victim, but it’s important to reach out to get the support you need.

We provide confidential support and advice for victims in the Broxtowe area. To get in touch, you can call us on 01773 719111 or email enquiries@broxtowewp.org to find out more about the support we offer.

If you’re struggling with debts due to economic abuse, PayPlan offer free, expert debt advice and may be able to support you – call them on 0800 072 1206.

Talking to children about finances

16% of adults in the UK say that they have experienced economic abuse. If you’ve experienced this in the past, it can make discussing financial matters with others a bit daunting.

For many parents, the impact of economic abuse might make them hesitant to educate their children about money and finances. It’s not that they don’t want to share this important knowledge; it’s more about not feeling confident enough to do so. But it’s important to remember that anyone can fall victim to economic abuse, and having done so doesn’t mean that you’re bad with money.

As it’s Talk Money Week, we’re encouraging everyone to break through those barriers and have open, honest conversations about finances with their children.

When parents talk to their kids about money, it gives them valuable skills and knowledge for life. You’re empowering them to make informed financial decisions as they grow up.

What can businesses do?

If you are a business that would like to find out more about supporting employees who may be experiencing economic abuse, email us at enquiries@broxtowewp.org.

You can also read more in the Surviving Economic Abuse report, Seen Yet Sidelined.