Domestic Violence Isn’t Always Physically Violent

“He wouldn’t let me work and didn’t give me access to our bank accounts.  Everyone told me to ‘just leave’, but without any money, how was that possible?  I thought about hiding some money here and there, but if he found out, well, that would be bad.”

Financial abuse isn’t often what people think of when they hear the words ‘Domestic Violence.’  But domestic violence isn’t always physically violent.  At the heart of domestic violence is the issue of power and control – one person who has power over another person and uses that power to control the other person.  Exercising power and control through money is very common – and a prominent form of domestic violence.

I often get questions about financial abuse.  For example, my husband and I have set weekly allowances.  Is that financial abuse?  No, because we agreed on that form of money management together.  He didn’t impose that on me and I didn’t impose that on him.  Making money decisions together and making sure both parties benefit from financial arrangements are signs of a relationship based in equality.

Financial abuse means preventing one partner from securing or keeping a job, making one partner ‘ask’ for money, and/or not giving one partner access to financial accounts.  That’s a relationship marred with power and control.

SafeHaven is available to help with all forms of domestic violence, not just physical and sexual violence.  As always, if you have questions, if you suspect you may be in a domestic violence relationship, or you know you are and you’re looking for resources, call the hotline.  1-877-701-SAFE.  We have answers.