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When most people hear the term “domestic violence”, they think of physical abuse. Did you know that financial abuse occurs in almost all domestic violence situations?

Financial or economic abuse is defined as “making or attempting to make a person financially dependent”. The abuser may –

  • maintain control over bank accounts, property or other assets
  • restrict access to money
  • make all major financial decisions without consulting the victim
  • remove the victim’s name from joint assets to deny access to any resources
  • destroy the victim’s credit by obtaining loans in his/her name and never repaying
  • force the victim to sign credit card accounts or loans
  • force the victim to sign a power-of-attorney in order to sign legal or financial documents on the victim’s behalf
  • make the victim cash-in assets in his/her name only and turn them over to the abuser
  • put the victim on an “allowance”
  • force the victim to show evidence for money spent, even if the money belongs to the victim
  • force the victim beg for money to meet even the basic needs while spending money freely on her/himself
  • force the victim to hand over all earned income to the abuser
  • harass or threaten the victim or his/her victim’s employer to have the victim fired
  • isolate the victim from anyone who can help
  • prevent the victim from attending school or work
  • prevent the victim from finding a job
  • force the victim to be totally dependent

Financial abuse often begins slowly but may evolve into situations where the abuser has gained a total financial hold over the victim.

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong

Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, in June 2007. Prior to that, he was employed as the senior associate attorney for a large criminal defense firm in San Diego for nine years, eventually being placed in charge of that firm’s branch office in downtown San Diego. At one point, he was managing six attorneys at that firm, as well as several support staff and law clerks.

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