Identifying Financial Abuse
October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month and its an important reminder to watch out for signs of financial abuse with a loved one. Financial expert John Caserta has tips for identifying financial abuse.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) estimates that nearly 95-99% of victims who have experienced some form of domestic violence, including physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual have also experienced financial or economic abuse.
Financial abuse has many forms including:
Controlling how money is spent
Preventing a victim from working or forcing them to quit a job
Stealing a partner’s identity
Coercing the victim into financial transactions
Other forms of financial abuse identified by experts:
Filing false insurance claims
Refusing to pay child support
Hiding assets or obscuring financial transactions
Engaging in excessive or unusually large cash transactions
Withholding basic living resources, medication, or food
Financial Abuse Risk Factors
A history of other forms of abuse in the relationship.
Poor health or some form of cognitive impairment, which is often seen with elderly victims.
Lack of a social network of family or friends that can help identify scams.
Unfamiliarity with financial matters.
Having family members with substance abuse problems.
Creating a Healthy Financial Relationship
Both partners have access to financial records and knowledge of existing accounts.
Financial decisions are made jointly.
Both partners meet with financial, legal, and tax professionals.
Documents are reviewed and signed together.
Each partner has equal access to money.
Determine financial powers of attorney when you are in good health physically and mentally.
Purple Purse – A non-profit organization sponsored by Allstate.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ncadv.org
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.