domestic abuse and financial perilPhysical and psychological domestic abuse impacts millions of people in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 25% of women and nearly 10% of men report having experienced violence, stalking or other psychological aggression by an intimate partner during their lifetime. It happens to both women and men in both hetero- and same-sex relationships. Domestic abuse and financial peril often go hand-in-hand.

Many people don’t realize financial abuse is a form of domestic violence. Yet, most domestic abuse survivors say their partner used financial control as a weapon to maintain power in the relationship.

While it can make sense for one partner in a couple to take the lead in managing finances, when someone has total control that is another matter. Financial dependence is one of the reasons many victims stay in an abusive relationship. Hiding or withholding money is the most obvious form of financial abuse. Others include controlling a victim’s ability to work by blocking access to a car or interfering with a job.

Leaving an abusive relationship often puts survivors in a more precarious financial position than they were before. Unemployment, excessive debt and bad credit are a few common challenges. The effects of abuse can also lead to depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress (PTSD), making it even more difficult to maintain employment, gain financial independence and create long-term security.

Working with a lawyer and financial advisor who understands the emotional and financial aspects of domestic abuse can help survivors get back on solid ground.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we encourage you to know the warning signs of financial abuse. Learn more online at or by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Read more at the following links: