Many victims of toxic relationships suffer verbal, emotional and/or physical abuse. However, another type of abuse occurs in dysfunctional relationships, too: financial abuse.
Financial abuse involves limiting or decreasing access to money. It takes place in approximately 99 percent of domestic violence cases.
Since some people have little to no knowledge of what financial abuse entails, they believe many popular misconceptions about it. Here are four common myths and facts about financial abuse.
Separating myth from fact
Myth: Because financial abuse only involves money, it’s pretty tame compared to physical abuse.
Fact: Just because there’s no physical violence, it does not mean it’s not abusive. And financial abuse can include physical violence, like if someone threatens to hit an individual if they refuse to give up a portion of their paycheck.
Myth: Financial abuse is an issue that only occurs in committed relationships.
Fact: While financial abuse is common in partner/spousal relationships, it can and does take place in other types of relationships. Financial abusers include family members, caretakers and even roommates.
Myth: People financially abuse their victims because they’re under a lot of stress themselves
Fact: Abusers don’t take advantage of others due to stress. (Though for some abusers, this is a convenient excuse.) They wield power over their victims because they enjoy exerting control over someone.
Myth: If it’s that bad, the victim could just leave and move into a friend’s house or a shelter, right?
Fact: For some victims, it’s not that simple. The abuser may be the only source of contact they have, which makes escape difficult.
Financial abuse is something no one should go through. If you or someone you know is currently suffering or recently escaped from a financial abuse situation, seek legal guidance to learn about the domestic violence injunction process.