Most people think that violence only refers to physical attack combined with verbal, however violence can be exercised in multiple ways. A good example is financial abuse or also called economic violence, in these situations an unhealthy relationship is created where the victims maintain a dependent relationship which affects their lives completely.

In almost 100% of the registered cases of this type, it can be observed that financial problems are the main reason why victims begin to suffer from threats that affect their lives at the family, work, academic level and even their physical stability. and psychological.

It is also considered to be one of the main signs of dating violence and domestic abuse. But it is also a situation in which minors may be involved, who are blackmailed into carrying out acts against their will in exchange for financial gain.

What is economic violence?

Economic violence is based on controlling a person’s ability to acquire, use and maintain financial resources. Victims may also be prevented from working or making a profit from their work. The establishment of any type of limitation creates a situation in which the victim cannot perform simple actions such as buying food or paying for basic services such as water or electricity.

In those who exercise this type of violence, they try to restrict access to economic resources, which the victims could make use of. It can also be a situation in which people are forced to carry out criminal acts such as stealing to carry out scams.

The uses for money can also involve other types of resources and assets that have significant value in the financial market . Generally, these types of violence negatively affect the lives of the people who are involved, this is because it has important repercussions in the future. In the most serious cases, limitations are even created to access emergency medical services.

All of these actions may be aimed at making victims totally dependent on their accusers. Any subtle practices such as manipulation, demands, and even intimidation manage to create a relationship in which victims will not be able to find a solution to their financial problems. The loss of control in their lives makes the participation of bullies essential because they are the only people capable of providing them with the relevant help for the situations that arise.

Although this is a rare type of violence, it is still one of the most applied practices in relationships and in violence against women. This is especially relevant in those countries where women have little access to the labor field, this means that they must always depend on a male figure to gain access to basic services and goods.

A good example of this type is found in those cases where women have little capacity to provide financially for themselves and their children. Financial insecurity is one of the main reasons why minors must also seek the help and dependence of other elderly people who will only provide these resources in exchange for certain favors or conditions .

What are their characteristics? 

Generally, the same characteristics are shown in most of the registered cases, however none is the same as the other in terms of its antecedents and consequences. It could be said that it is a situation in which limitations or some kind of isolation will always be established so that the victims begin to depend financially on their abusers .

The relationship that is created between the people involved is based on conflict, harassment and the exercise of violence that affects not only the economic field but also the physical and emotional level . Therefore, the victims may think that there is no way to find a way out of this situation, this implies that they will adapt to these conditions while maintaining the dependency relationship.

One of the most important indicators to take into consideration is that it is a type of violence that is usually suffered by women, but also includes people with low economic resources and minors. Those individuals who are more vulnerable from the economic point of view become the ideal target, for example, economic violence can also be exercised by creating limits to the possibility of having employment opportunities.

The following describes the most common practices perpetrated by stalkers, however it is important to mention that not necessarily all these elements must be observed for a situation of this type to be considered as such. They are as follows:

  • You control the use and access to the money you have managed to earn personally or also to the savings of a lifetime.
  • Bullies will use the assets of their victims to cover benefits and personal expenses without first consulting.
  • Credit and debit cards will be used to make payments for services and products without permission . These same ones will benefit the bullies without the victims being able to make use of them.
  • It will try to cause permanent damage to the credit history of the victims, this can be by not paying bills or increasing the limits.
  • Any resource that makes it possible to avoid paying bills and basic services that directly affect the victims will be used.
  • Forcing victims to borrow or make charges on their behalf and then not pay them back.
  • It will begin to require the delivery of personal passwords to access bank accounts and cards, the purpose is to make full use of all the money registered in them.
  • Confiscate money and valuables so that victims cannot access them.
  • Cause dismissal and also limitations that allow access to employment opportunities that could provide victims with the amount of money they need to cover their personal expenses.
  • Control assets and any income potential to further isolate the victim.

How is it identified?

The effects of abuse are often devastating and with significant long-term effects. Victims feel insecure of themselves due to the emotional abuse that accompanies financial abuse. This is especially relevant when it comes to covering basic expenses such as clothing and eating. Also in some cases it can affect the well-being in terms of having a fixed place to live and also paying for academic and medical expenses.

However, also in the short term it can be observed to effects that can be perceptible in terms of physical and verbal abuse . Not having access to money and other financial assets makes it very difficult to do safe financial planning.

There are many ways in which this type of abuse can be identified, which is particularly violent when combined with other types of violence. For example, victims begin to show significant physical deterioration because they cannot access food and resources that allow them to have personal hygiene.

Another way to identify it is when these people state that they do not have debit or credit cards , as well as their own bank accounts and even cash. For this reason, it is very difficult to pay for basic services such as transportation and also own telephone service. The victims always state that they have some type of economic dependency that allows them to freely expand in their daily lives.

On those occasions in which the victims try to escape from this abusive situation, they sincerely and publicly reveal that they are going through extreme difficulties. They manage to communicate to trusted people that they do not have access to safe housing, as well as security and protection .

Also the victims are identifiable because they do not have recent records of having permanent or regular jobs. In the same way, the personal credit history presents problems at a legal and financial level , this can be observed for a period of time as long as it can be several years.

How does it stop?

In case of suspecting that a person is suffering from economic violence, it is important to immediately contact the corresponding authority. Because the actions involved in these cases violate the financial and social stability of the victims, the participation of the police and other government authorities is necessary.

The participation of family and friends is always necessary, who can, in a timely and adequate manner, be able to correctly interpret the changes in the behavior of the victims . That is, the main way to create limits in the actions carried out by the aggressors is by providing help and support.

In each country there are a series of entities and institutions in charge of dealing with cases of this type, offering confidential assistance . It is usually related to domestic violence but cases where several people are involved can also be registered.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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