Controlling the money

In my last column about Family Violence I am going to talk about economic abuse.

Economic Abuse is simply where an abuser makes it almost impossible to leave by controlling the finances. Often this extends to coercing the victim to sign for financial documents such as loans to purchase vehicles or high value electronic consumer goods. If the payments are not made this effects the credit rating of the victim which makes it difficult to find or set up a new home or purchase vehicles.

Creating circumstances that makes the victim financially dependant is a method of control that coerces the victim to stay.

Often the abuser will use traditional gender roles to ensure the victim doesn’t have their own financial capability. Preventing them from working has a number of knock-on effects. Firstly, it creates financial dependence and, secondly, it prevents the victim from forming social bonds. Most people in the workplace have at least some social contact – a person they can confide in. Preventing a partner from working is a method used to foster isolation making it even harder to leave.

All of the tactics I have explained over the last few weeks are red flags we should all be looking for in our loved one’s relationships. Often getting that victim in a quiet moment to have a talk and just ask “is everything okay?” is all they need.

If you have concerns about a loved one’s relationship contact the following:

Waitomo-Waipa Women’s Refuge 0800 733 843

Kainga Aroha 07 871 6506

New Zealand Police 105 or in an emergency 111

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