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Identifying Financial abuse

Financial abuse or economic abuse is often a type of abuse that is associated with couples, but it can occur within other relationships within the family such as a parent and child or vice versa, within a friendship dynamic; it can also occur outside of the home in secular and religious organisations.

The Care Act 2014 describes ‘financial abuse’ as a type of abuse which includes having money or other property stolen, being defrauded, being put under pressure in relation to money or other property and having money or other property misused.

Financial abuse is often carried out in a very subtle and manipulative way, in many cases victims do not realise that they are being taken advantage of. It can be difficult for victims to identify the signs of abuse when they are in a close relationship with the perpetrator who may be someone that they trust. The perpetrator(s) may be charming, friendly but may have underlying controlling tendencies or narcissistic tendencies.

Types of financial abuse:

  • Controlling someone’s purchases or access to their money

  • Borrowing money and not giving it back

  • Someone taking or misusing someone else’s money or belongings for their own gain

  • Stealing money or belongings

  • Forcing someone to give access to their personal financial information such as passwords or access to accounts

  • Forcing or manipulating someone to sell their home or assets.

  • Tricking or putting pressure on someone to make bad investments

  • Forcing someone to make changes in wills, property, or inheritance

  • Taking pension payments or other benefits away from someone

  • Religious organisations: manipulating members to give money above their means, promising that God will bless or repay them.

It is important to note that financial abuse can happen to anyone not solely to people that society would consider as vulnerable. People that are vulnerable or may be at a vulnerable stage in their lives due to their mental state, significant life event, age, physical health or learning difficulties may be more prone to becoming a victim of financial abuse.

If you are currently experiencing financial abuse or know someone who is, you do not have to suffer in silence there are resources and organisations who are able to support you. If you have any questions that you'd like to ask me private feel free to email me on

Organisations and helplines:



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