"My ex took out a credit card and loan in my name and spent the whole lot without me even knowing."
During the recent debate on the proposed Domestic Abuse Bill (Scotland) in the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton highlighted how financial abuse (sometimes called economic abuse) is a major factor in domestic abuse, and one of the main ways in which an abusive partner can exert control even after a couple have separated. In her speech, she noted: ‘Lack of money and financial resources is the main reason why women return to abusive partners post separation, and economic barriers and a lack of financial independence are the main factors in why women stay in abusive relationships.’
All the major high street banks and building societies recognise the role of financial coercive control in domestic abuse. Specialist staff are trained to support and help you regain control of your money, and to keep your money safe. Further information on financial abuse and what help is available can be found on your bank’s website or at the local branch.
“My husband controlled absolutely everything and made me account for every penny I spent.”
In any other context, this would be called daylight robbery. Remember that you have every right to your own money and to manage it as you want.
What does financial abuse look like?
“I had no money for food; I couldn’t pay for the kids’ school dinners. He made me give up work. I had to beg for money.”
Has your partner or ex-partner:
- Controlled how you spend your money
- Stopped you spending on essentials
- Made you account for everything you spend
- Forced you to put all the household bills into your name, including rent or mortgage
- Stopped you going to college or work
- Stopped you having access to your accounts or made you add their name to them
- Insisted on taking your salary or benefit income
- Force you to take our credit agreements, e.g. for a car or mobile phone, that they then use
- Cashed your cheques or pension without your permission.