Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when someone is in a relationship and the other person has power over them because they don’t have access to money, information or a way out.

It can include: control of how the money is spent, restricting access to money, stopping the victim from earning money, stealing a partner's identity, money, credit or property.

The Purple Purse –the Allstate Foundation’s program to help victims of domestic violence through financial empowerment calls financial abuse “the Invisible weapon”.  Why?  According to the Purple Purse:

 “Physical abuse leaves bruises and scars. Financial abuse is an Invisible Weapon that traps victims in abusive relationships. The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay or return to an abusive relationship is that they don’t have the financial resources to break free. In 99% of domestic violence cases, financial abuse helps keep victims trapped in the abusive relationship”.


Women in financial abuse situations are trapped – financially, physically and emotionally.

Financially they are isolated and prevented from access to financial resources – bank accounts, credit cards, transportation. 

Physically -they are stuck in a house or apartment and they don't have the resources to move or leave.

Emotionally they lack the confidence and belief that they are capable to make it without their abuser.


What Steps Can I take towards Financial Freedom?

Be Informed

  • Become aware of the signs of financial abuse
  • Learn about your financial situation - look for financial documents - bank and credit card statements, social security information
  • Resources- There are many free resources online and offered by your local financial institutions and non-profits to help you learn about, establish and maintain healthy money habits. 
  • Be aware of your confidence level around money - you may feel that you are unable to manage your money - this isn't true - your partner may have wanted you to feel this way, but you can be successful at managing your money

Take Action

  • Start saving money
  • Open your own bank and credit card accounts

Get and Give Support

  • If you are a victim – there are resources out there to help you – ask for help. 

         The Purple Purse- www.purplepurse.com/

         National Coalition Against Domestic Violence-
       https://nnedv.org/

         National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233

  • Listen -to people that are in financial dependency or abuse situations and offer them support -without judgment or criticism
  • Share Your Story - you never know who needs to hear what you have to say