Financial abuse is when someone takes away your access to money, manipulates your financial decisions, or uses your money without consent.
Financial abuse is a type of family violence. It often happens alongside other types of violence, such as physical or emotional abuse. It can leave you feeling vulnerable, isolated, depressed, and anxious. It can also take away your independence.
- Financial abuse can happen to anyone
- The abuser could be your partner, or a family member, carer, or friend.
- Older people can be more vulnerable to financial abuse.
Signs of a financially abusive person
- – Controls your access to money
- – Uses your money without your knowledge or consent
- – Signs legal documents that concern you without consultation
- – Threatens or punishes you regarding money
1800respect offers a toolkit to manage financial abuse as outlined in this video.
“I always say all of those abuses (physical, mental, verbal etc..) are the cage and financial abuse is the padlock.” Video Participant
Preventing financial abuse
- – stay in touch with people you trust – don’t be afraid to talk about concerns re learning to recognise and avoid financial scams
- – regularly check bank and credit card statements for unauthorised transactions
- – open your own mail
- – store documents, account logins and passwords in a safe and secure place
- – if you lend money to someone, put it in writing and make a plan with them to repay
- – never sign documents you don’t understand
- – where possible, getting independent and confidential legal or financial advice
- – ask someone you trust to check that the person who manages your money is doing it in your best interests
Getting help and support for financial abuse
For free and confidential help with legal help, advice, or urgent help with money.
Family violence, abuse and sexual assault counselling
- 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732
- Financial Abuse Toolkit – https://www.1800respect.org.au/violence-and-abuse/financial-abuse/toolkit
- Online Chat – https://chat.1800respect.org.au/#/welcome
Help if you’re struggling with debt
- National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007
Help to get back on your feet
- Good Shepherd Australia Financial Independence Hub – 1300 050 150