Controlling when you have and how you use your own money, not letting you have your benefits, controlling what you buy, controlling when and where you can or can’t work, all of these things are termed economic abuse. It is likely to be part of other controlling behaviours used to restrict someone's independence.
Economic abuse can leave a person without access to any money of their own which means that they can become totally dependent on their abuser. Depending on the type of economic abuse used, it may also make accessing housing or credit difficult after someone has left the relationship. Each case will be different but some examples include:
- Denying you access to money or not allowing you to have your own bank account.
- Denying you access to benefits, including Child Benefit.
- Making you account for every penny spent.
- Not allowing you to have paid employment.
- Running up debts in your name, with or without your knowledge or consent.
- Making you work and earn while they do not and they spend all the money.
- Not paying rent or mortgage payments.
- Threatening to make you homeless.
- Forcing you to beg or commit crime.
- Forcing you into modern slavery or prostitution.
More advice can be found on the Surviving Economic Abuse website. If you need help and support please contact Torbay Domestic Abuse Service or check out the Directory for other services. Consider talking to the Financial Support Line, Citizen's Advice or DWP.