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Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is a prevalent and often hidden form of violence against women. Like other forms of violence against women, financial abuse is used as a tactic to harm and control. We conduct research and work with our partners to increase awareness and improve prevention and response.

Financial abuse is a common and distinct form of violence that is underexplored. Financial abuse involves behaviours that control a woman’s ability to gain and use economic resources, impacting their ability to be economically independent. This can include restricting access to household income, monitoring spending, coerced debt and sabotaging employment.

Financial abuse can be a barrier to women leaving an abusive relationship and often continues after a relationship has ended. It can lead to long-term economic consequences for many women, mainly in the form of debt and damaged credit. These consequences can have a direct impact on their housing and the ability to rebuild their economic security.

Financial abuse is often difficult to identify because of the gendered roles and norms related to money, family and relationships. Financially controlling tactics can also appear to be normal financial arrangements or disagreements between partners.

We conduct research to better understand the experiences and impacts of financial abuse as well the opportunities to prevent and address it. We also work closely with policy-makers, scholars, service providers and financial institutions to improve practices and develop solutions.

“Hidden in the every day”

Check out our recent research into financial abuse as a form of intimate partner violence in the Toronto area.

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