What is Economic Abuse?


There are many types of abuse. If you click on the following link, you will see what is known as the domestic violence cycle of abuse wheel. This shows 8 different types of abuse that an abuser will use to gain power and control over his victim.


Today, I’d like to talk about economic, or financial abuse. One of the ways that an abuser will gain and keep control over his victim is by putting her on an “allowance”, like a child. My ex-husband did that. When we were first together, we lived together (which I don’t recommend – besides the fact that this is against God’s plan, in this case, the man, not the woman has all the advantages in the relationship). Because we were both working full-time, and we weren’t married, we kept our finances separate. When we did get married, we never combined our finances, and never got a joint checking account. When we had children and I decided to stay at home to raise them, I had no money of my own, and had to count on him to give me money each month to run the household.


This set-up is fine in theory, and for many years it worked without a problem. However, when he became abusive in the later years of our marriage, he began to use finances to keep control over me. When he was angry with me, he simply didn’t give me my “allowance”. He was supposed to “pay” me on the first of each month. But when he was angry with me, he would withhold this money. Of course, I was still expected to buy groceries, and pay for the other household needs. If he felt like it, he would sometimes withhold my allowance until the 20th of the month. He would keep me guessing about when/if he would pay me, and often say, “I’m never giving you another cent.”


What other ways might an abuser use economic abuse?


He might not let you have a job if want to get one, or he might force you to quit or get you fired. I know a woman whose boyfriend called her at work 10 times a day, and showed up at work several times a week until her boss fired her. If you do have a job, he might insist you hand over to him all the money you make. If you don’t work, he might keep control of all the money, and make you ask for it; making you feel like a child, like you must ask “daddy” for money to go to the store with.


What does God say about this?


If you are working outside the home, you have a right to the money you earn. If you are staying at home to raise your children, you are also working. You are investing your life into the lives of your children. Either way, you are a person of worth in God’s eyes, and you deserve to be treated as such.



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