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If you have a feeling something isn’t right…

Economic abuse is a common form of domestic abuse, and a powerful tool often used to coerce and control. Economic abuse can involve a current or former partner or family member controlling your ability to acquire, use or maintain money or other economic resources; for example, stopping you from going to work, taking your money, insisting benefits are in their name, preventing you from accessing your own/joint bank account, putting debts in your name, damaging your possessions which you then have to replace.

You have the right to access your own finances and regain financial freedom.

If you think you are experiencing economic abuse, it is important to ensure your online accounts and devices are safe. Depending on whether you are living with the person who is harming you, you may choose to take different steps.

Some actions you take to increase your security or privacy might alert an abuser, and they might escalate their abusive behaviour. Before looking into what’s happening, if you have any concerns regarding the security of your online accounts, we can help you to create a safety plan tailored to your situation:

  • Use a safe device to contact Refuge’s 24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. This could be a phone from a trusted friend, family member, neighbour, or a computer in a library, school, or workplace.
  • Use a safe device to contact Refuge’s 24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline via live chat Monday-Friday 3-10pm via www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
  • Many women feel that they have no choice but to delete their online accounts and reduce their use of the internet. You have the right to be online. If it feels safe, you can visit our guides to learn more about how you can secure your tech.
  • If you haven’t yet, read our safety information.

You can also try our Digital Break-Up Guide which includes additional guides that can help you secure your financial accounts.

Signs you may be experiencing Economic Abuse

Do you feel as if someone else controls your finances?
Have debts been taken out in you name? Or have you been asked or pressured by your partner to take out debt?
Does your ex-partner/partner ask to see receipts/evidence on what you have spent money on?
Does your ex-partner/partner insist that utility bills and other household bills be in your name?
Does your ex-partner/partner make you feel guilty when attending work/college and restrict the hours you attend?
Does your ex-partner/partner ask, force, or expect you to put assets such as property, savings, or vehicles in their name?
Has your ex-partner/partner put your name on their business or company without your consent?
Does your ex-partner/partner hide your bank cards or destroy bank cards?
If the steps in the guides don’t solve the problem, or if you feel you’re in danger

Economic Abuse and Technology

Economic Abuse and Technology are entwined, if your accounts and devices are not secure, then your ex-partner/partner could have access to your money and financial information and may be able to see that you have reached out for help. For more information, see our ‘secure your tech’ page.

Secure your tech

Before Following a link:

If you think someone may be accessing your phone or computer, or you’re in a space where you could be disturbed, please do not follow this link: Websites we signpost you to may not have a quick exit button and will open in a new tab. Visit us again from a safe device or safe space at a later date. If you need immediate support please contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 

Surviving Economic Abuse – Economic Abuse Wheel

Surviving Economic Abuse has developed the Economic Abuse Wheel – take a look to see the different forms of economic abuse.

The Economic Abuse Wheel