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Economic abuse

Economic abuse is a form of domestic abuse. According to the charity Surviving Economic Abuse, it occurs in 95% of domestic abuse cases.

Abusers may restrict, exploit, and sabotage access to their victim’s money and other resources, such as food, clothing, transportation, and a place to live. Without control of their economic situation, someone experiencing this type of abuse can become trapped and at risk of further harm.

It’s estimated 1 in 6 adults in the UK has experienced economic abuse from a current or former partner.

You don’t have to wait for an emergency situation before finding help. If it’s happening, it’s important to tell someone and remember victims are not alone. There are links to charities at the bottom of this page that can help with support.

Spotting the signs

Economic abuse can be difficult to spot and could begin with behaviours that at first seem protective and caring, for example, offering to take care of all the finances. If you think it’s happening to you or you’re concerned about someone you care about, here are some other signs to look out for:

  • Change in behaviour due to being frightened of an abuser’s reaction
  • Being isolated from family and friends
  • Money being controlled, spending restricted, and needing to ask for money when it’s needed
  • Monitoring of internet or social media use, or texts, emails or post tracked
  • Important financial information being hidden
  • Having an account or credit card opened by someone else with debt being built up
  • The abuser might tell the victim the abuse is their fault, or that they’re overreacting

How we can help

We understand domestic abuse is a complex issue, where victims need ongoing support. We know some of our clients will be impacted. We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0117 900 9000. Our colleagues are trained on what to look out for and ways to help provide support:

  • We can move conversations to a different channel and give more time to consider how to speak to us in safety
  • Agree a phrase which can alert us if it’s no longer safe to talk
  • With consent, we can record relevant information about the abuse being experienced and provide ongoing support to help with financial independence and security

Let us know if you need support

Organisations that can offer support

You don’t have to wait for an emergency to get help. If you’re a victim, it’s important to tell someone. There are lots of organisations offering support:

  • The NHS and Gov.uk provide helpful information on recognising the signs and other useful resources for getting help.

  • Surviving Economic Abuse offer specialist advice through their Financial Support Line to help those who have experienced abuse and are in financial difficulty to regain control of their finances - 0808 1968845.

  • Women can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline run by Refuge free any time for confidential, non-judgemental information and support - 0808 2000 247.

  • Women’s Aid provide life saving services in England, with lots of useful resources and a new online chat support.
  • Male victims can contact the Men's Advice Line - 0808 801 0327.

  • Galop support LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violence - 0800 999 5428.

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you can’t speak and are calling on a mobile press 55 to have your call transferred to the police.