Economic abuse is not just about robbing someone of their access to money. Economic abuse strips a person of their independence, their self-esteem and their dignity. And dangerously, it removes their ability to leave an abusive partner.
Every 20 minutes a victim-survivor of economic abuse reports to the police. And one in six women has experienced economic abuse by a current or former partner. But the Surviving Economic Abuse report reveals that despite it being so prevalent and now recognised in law, the criminal justice system is not using its powers to hold perpetrators of economic abuse to account, leaving survivors to pay the price.
Economic abuse can take many forms. An abuser might do any of the following:
Sabotage your income and access to money:
- prevent you from being in education or employment
- limit your working hours
- take your pay
- refuse to let you claim benefits
- take children’s savings or birthday money
- refuse to let you access a bank account
Restrict how you use money and the things that you own:
- control when and how money is spent
- dictate what you can buy
- make you ask for money or provide an allowance
- check your receipts
- make you keep a spending diary
- make you justify every purchase made
- control the use of property, such as a mobile phone or car
- insist all economic assets (example savings, house) are in their name
- keep financial information secret
Exploit your economic situation:
- steal your money or property
- cause damage to your property
- refuse to contribute to household costs
- spend money needed for household items and bills
- misuse money in joint bank accounts
- insist all bills, credit cards and loans are in your name and make you pay them
- build up debt in your name, sometimes without your knowledge
If you are being affected by Economic Abuse and other forms of Domestic Abuse we are here to assist you.
You can contact your Housing Officer and our Money Advice Service by calling 0330 100 0272 or visit https://www.bpha.org.uk/domestic-abuse/
If you are in immediate danger, always call 999 and ask for the Police, if you can’t speak call 999 followed by 55 when the operator answers (or tap or cough into the phone) this will alert the operator and the police to respond. You can also call the Abuse 24-hour Support Helpline – 0808 2000 247.
You are not alone.