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Financial Abuse and the Cost-of-Living Crisis

22 August 2023

financial abuse cash being taken from lady purse

Domestic abuse can take many forms and it is often likely that those experiencing it will not just be limited to one form of abuse. Financial abuse is an increasingly common form of domestic abuse and coercive control, particularly with the ever-increasing cost of living across the country.

We wanted to take the opportunity to raise awareness of this form of domestic abuse and remind people of the support that is available.

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse can present itself in various ways – here are some common examples:

  • An abusive partner may limit your ability to work and earn your own money.
  • They may control the money that you earn and decide what you can or can’t spend.
  • They may force you to provide for the household, whilst they do not work.
  • They may force you to take out loans or other financial commitments in your name.

This is not an exhaustive list and financial abuse may present itself in other ways. It is often used alongside other forms of domestic abuse and is designed to remove someone’s independence and make them reliant on the perpetrator.

A common misconception is that domestic abuse is only about physical abuse and whilst some perpetrators are physically violent, many will also use the threat of violence to coerce a survivor.

Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis

The rising cost of living has had a big impact on those experiencing domestic abuse, causing many to think twice about leaving the perpetrator.

For many, there is a concern about how they can support themselves on their own, especially with rents and bills very high, and the cost of everyday essentials rising too. Some perpetrators are using the current financial situation as a way to control their partner, particularly saying that they will be unable to cope on their own.

In some cases, the tensions around the financial situation that many people are experiencing could be making abuse worse. Financial struggles are never an excuse for perpetrators’ behaviour – they are responsible for their actions – but these additional pressures could put survivors at risk of serious harm.

Getting Support

In response to the cost-of-living crisis and the impact it is having on those experiencing domestic abuse, the Government announced an emergency fund to provide money to support those looking to leave.

Frontline support workers can refer survivors based on eligibility criteria, with support coming in a variety of means including cash, bank transfers, vouchers, or through referring organisations.

Leeway would urge anyone experiencing domestic abuse to contact us for support. You can contact us on 0300 561 0077, email or our Live Chat service on our website.