Tax Day Emotions

The Hidden Financial Abuse

Hands-Tied In the Forbes article, “I’ll Take Care of the Bills, the Slippery Slope Into Financial Abuse” Laura Shin exposes an ugly truth about domestic violence. Many people don’t think of financial abuse when they think of domestic violence, but it is often one of the biggest reasons that victims stay with their perpetrators.

There are many behaviors that can be classified as financial abuse, such as:

  • Not allowing the victim to work
  • Not allowing access to financial records, bank accounts, bills, etc.
  • Only giving a small allowance for basic necessities like groceries, childcare, etc.
  • Requiring the victim to work, while the perpetrator spends all of the income earned
  • Racking up debt in the victim’s name, ruining their credit

When a victim has a spotty or non-existent work history, it will be very difficult for her to get a job after leaving the relationship, especially one that will pay enough to provide for any children in the relationship. If the victim’s credit has been ruined, it will be difficult for her to find housing. The victim might not have any money saved up for a deposit (or even to feed herself or her children) because the perpetrator did not allow her access to that. All of these facts make it incredibly difficult for a survivor of financial abuse to leave the relationship.

So while you are complaining about having to file your taxes today, remember those women (or men) that would happily pay a tax bill just to be able to work or to have knowledge about their own financial situation.