Bianca Hartge-Hazelman of Financy writes:
Some of the most common tell tale signs of financial abuse are:
- Feeling as though your partner is not being 100 per cent truthful with you on financial matters.
- Noticing that your partner is receiving mail about debt or assets that you are not part of, or even taking private phone calls on such matters.
- Not be allowed to open or see joint bank account details or statements.
- Feeling that your partner is controlling access to economic resources – such as interfering with or restricting your education or employment – Isolating or restricting your mobility or access to transportation.
- Realising that your partner is generating economic cost or debt in your name.
- Noticing that your partner is varying loans that may be in your name, such as covertly increasing home loans for no explained reason.
- Having a partner that deliberately damages a property that is in your name, so as to cost you money in repairs.
- Having a partner that avoids child support payments; manipulating the shared care system to reduce payments; and repeatedly applying for re-assessment of payment.
- Having a partner that cancels essential services, and/or refuses to pay debts.
- You notice support being withdrawn for partner visas, or the lodging of malicious reports to the Department of Immigration.
- Dowry abuse, where one partner uses verbal and often physical threats of violence to force the family of their partner to increase dowry payments to them.
- It can also present itself in systems abuse, where one partner will seek to financially cripple another through legal proceedings.
Women are more likely than men to find themselves in a financially abusive relationship, particularly if they have stopped working to care for children.