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Financial Abuse goes “Under the Radar”

Just two in five UK adults are aware that domestic abuse can include a financial element, according to recent research from Citizens Advice.

Restrictions on day-to-day spending or being forced to take on debts are amongst the problems victims of domestic abuse can face, which can trap them in damaging relationships, the charity has previously revealed.

Citizens Advice has now released new research that shows important strides need to be made in making people aware of financial abuse.

The findings are from a survey of over 2,000 people, carried out for Citizens Advice by ComRes. It also reveals many people are not aware that domestic abuse extends beyond physical violence:

  • 39% are not aware making a partner account for all their spending can constitute domestic abuse;
  • 55% do not recognise that taking out a loan in a victim’s name without them knowing can be a form of abuse.

“No domestic abuse should go under the radar,” commented Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice. ”Perpetrators of abuse use financial control and psychological cruelty to make their victims feel powerless. Victims can find themselves subjected to a barrage of put-downs to undermine their confidence or forced to account for every penny spent so that they are isolated.”

“The last Government led the way on domestic abuse when it announced it would make coercive control illegal,” she added. “To ensure this makes the needed difference it is important people feel equipped to recognise domestic abuse. Getting more people to be aware of the reality of domestic abuse and the different forms experienced by victims is crucial. Guidelines to help police and the courts prosecute perpetrators of coercive control under the new law will be an important part of this.”

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