Economic Abuse

Economic abuse is a form of family violence that: “involves behaviors that control a [person’s] ability to acquire, use and maintain economic resources, thus threatening her [or his] economic security and potential for self-sufficiency.” (Adams et al, 2008)

Economic abuse includes a range of behaviours carried out by a perpetrator such as:

  • controlling a victim’s access to cash and bank accounts
  • hiding financial information and assets
  • sabotaging study and/or employment opportunities
  • not contributing to household bills
  • forcing a partner to take out debt
  • manipulating finances to avoid or reduce child support payments.

Source: Adams, A. et al (2008). Development of the Scale of Economic Abuse. Violence Against Women, 14, 563-588.

Economic Safety

Economic safety is vital to a person’s wellbeing. It is the human right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of a person and their family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of circumstances beyond their control*. It means being free of economic abuse and includes:

  • Having access to appropriate financial products to help manage your finances
  • Receiving fair and appropriate financial support for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of children, or others, in your care
  • Having structural and systemic support to maintain and build your economic security over time.

* Article 25 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.