Many people in New Jersey that are victims of domestic violence feel like they are trapped in their situations. One of the main reasons this happens is because of the financial control that abusers leverage over their victims. Financial abuse may not be talked about as often as physical abuse, but it can be insidious.
Financial abuse happens gradually
Financial abuse usually happens gradually as the victim loses more and more power over their finances as time goes on. The abuser may start by asking to borrow some money and then gradually begin expecting their partner to hand over every paycheck. If you have no access to your own money, this is a clear sign that you are being financially abused.
Other financially abusive situations begin when the abuser restricts their victim’s freedom to earn their own money. It might begin with the abuser offering to pay the bills, which could seem considerate, especially if the victim is unable to work. Over time, however, an abusive partner may limit their victim’s access to shared bank accounts and credit cards and not allow them to work when they are able to.
Other types of financial abuse
Abusive partners sometimes try to ruin their victim’s financial future by bullying them into taking out loans or draining their investment accounts. The goal of the abuser is usually to make their victim financially dependent on them so that they have no power to leave or seek to end their marriage.
Financial abuse makes it harder to get out
Limited access to financial resources is not the only reason people have a hard time leaving a physically and financially abusive partner. Sometimes, domestic abuse victims have spent so long being dependent on their partner that they don’t know how to manage money and they lack job skills. This is why some domestic violence support groups offer victims help with financial empowerment.