Economic Abuse

Economic abuseDefinition:

When one intimate partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources, diminishing the victim’s capacity to support him/herself and forces him/her to depend on the perpetrator financially. Control of someone’s present or future earning potential.

Economic abuse is often used as a controlling mechanism as part of a larger pattern of domestic abuse, which may include verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. By restricting the victim’s access to economic resources, the offender has limited resources to exit the abusive relationship.


  • Controlling access to a telephone, automobiles or ability to go shopping, forms of isolation.
  • Threatening to remove their spouse and children from the house without financial support.
  • Exploiting the victim’s economic disadvantage.
  • Destroying or taking resources from the spouse and/or children.
  • Giving an allowance and closely watching how it is spent.
  • Refusing to give money, food, rent, medicine or clothing.
  • Using funds from children’s tuition or a joint bank account without the other partner’s knowledge.
  • Using their money to overpower the spouse because they know the spouse is not in the same financial situation as they are.
  • Not allowing the victim access to bank accounts.
  • Not including the victim in investment or banking decisions.
  • Refusing to work or contribute to the family income.
  • Withholding funds from the victim or children to obtain basic needs such as food and medicine.
  • Hiding assets.
  • Forcing the victim to work in a family business without pay.
  • Refusing to pay or evading child support.
  • Manipulating the divorce process and drawing it out by hiding or not disclosing assets.

Read Litigational Abuse


Learn How to Stop the Abuse and Get a Fair Divorce, in 5 Simple Steps


Written by Sinta Ebersohn (Creator of – Stellenbosch)