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Domestic Violence Economic Issues


Money is a tool commonly used by the abuser to prevent victims from leaving a dangerous relationship.  Many victims stay because they lack the resources to leave or it has become their responsibility to provide for the family, while at the same time being denied the ability to do so.  Even if victims are employed or are receiving some type of financial assistance, they face many barriers to financial stability that are presented by the abuser.

Economic abuse can take many forms, as follows:

  • Denying all access to funds
  • Having to account for every penny spent
  • Putting all bills in the victim’s name
  • Demanding the victim’s paychecks
  • Interfering with the victim’s work or not letting them work
  • Taking the victim’s car keys or otherwise preventing use of the car

Building financial skills is an important key to overcoming economic abuse. It is important that domestic violence victims build economic skills to overcome financial instability, the leading barrier to leaving and staying out of an abusive situation. The following resources are available for assistance in building economic skills.


Financial Education Resources

Hope and Power for you Personal Finance: Rebuilding Guide Following Domestic Violence - A workbook created by the Nation Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

Smart about Money is a free on-line course on a broad range of financial topics. This program is one of many on-line course created by the National Endowment for Financial Education.

IRS - Innocent Spouse Relief - Domestic Abuse - IRS, US Department of Treasury tip on tax information for domestic abuse survivors and information about how to request for the IRS Innocence Spouse Relief.