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Economic Abuse

Affordable Justice is experienced in providing legal help and support to women who are victims of economic abuse. Economic abuse in domestic violence is a common occurrence as a way of controlling women, denying them the means to interact socially, pursue an independent career, and getting them into debt. 

What is Economic Abuse? 

Economic abuse is another form of control that an abusive man exerts over a woman to limit her life. Within the Domestic Abuse Act (2021), the economic abuse definition refers to it as any behaviour that has a substantial and adverse effect on a woman’s ability to: 

  • Acquire, use, or maintain money or other property (such as a mobile phone or car). 
  • Obtain goods (such as food and clothing) or services (such as utilities like heating). 

While it is not an actual crime, its inclusion in this statute ensures that the behaviour that drives economic abuse in marriage and relationships is recognised and acknowledged by the police and can be used to make a much more substantial case against an abuser. 

What are the Different Types of Economic Abuse? 

The following are economic abuse examples, illustrating the ways in which an abuser will exert their control over their partner through money.  

  • The abuser will sabotage the way in which a woman can access money. This is done in a number of ways, either by preventing her from working, or from improving herself through education in order to earn her own living. In some cases, the abuser will restrict his partner’s working hours or take control of the money the woman is earning. 
  • The abuser will isolate a woman by deliberately placing her in a position of impoverishment. She will receive the bare minimum to cover shopping for essentials and be forced to produce receipts. Use of any credit cards, mobile phones and modes of transport will be restricted and tightly controlled.  
  • The abuser will ensure all assets are in his name only but will take out loans and debts in his partner’s name, with or without the woman’s knowledge. 

Economic Abuse Statistics 

According to a government website, 16 per cent of adults in the UK experience economic abuse, and 60 per cent of victims of coercive control have been coerced into take out a debt without their permission, affecting their credit rating for years to come.  

What Should a Woman Do if She Recognises That She is a Victim of Domestic Abuse? 

Awareness of economic abuse is growing. If you believe that you are a victim of economic abuse, then you need to reach out to one of the many women’s support organisations, such as Winner Preston Road Women’s Centre, who will give you practical steps how to escape your situation. Our solicitors at Affordable Justice will also ensure that the economic abuse you are experiencing is reflected in any legal case you instigate.