It's time we understood the reality behind financial abuse - here's how it can happen 2 months ago

It's time we understood the reality behind financial abuse - here's how it can happen

Brought to you by AIB and Women's Aid

We might not hear a whole lot about this. Or maybe, we've come across it just that one time.

Unfortunately, this doesn't mean it's not a regular occurrence for many out there. In 2018 alone, there were over 19,000 contacts made with Women's Aid Direct Services in relation to financial abuse.

That same year, Women's Aid also heard over 1500 disclosures specifically involving financial abuse, within intimate relationships. (Women's Aid Impact Report 2018)

These numbers represent the amount of women who, in some shape or form, are experiencing domestic violence and are looking to seek help from the service.

Women's Aid believe that these figures are just the tip of the iceberg, as there's reason to believe that almost 200,000 women are in financially abusive relationships, as one in 10 women in Ireland are experiencing financial abuse from their partners (or exes) at any given time.

These kinds of relationships involve an abuser who uses finances/money as a way to isolate a woman into a state of total financial dependence. It's often the case where it leaves a woman no choice but to stay in such a relationship or... face extreme poverty.

A 2018 UK report showed that women who experience financial abuse are actually five times more likely to experience physical violence compared to those who don't. What's more — these economic barriers can cause a woman to stay in an abusive relationship for longer, so the cycle continues.

Now, if you're wondering how a financially abusive relationship might come to be, it helps to understand what makes this kind of abuse different and how an abuser's cruel tactics can have a horrible impact on someone's life (or the lives of an entire family).

The different forms of abuse include physical, mental and sexual abuse, and these all feed into financial abuse.

Financial abuse is used by the abuser as a way to reinforce, or create a dependence (specifically in relation to money) on the victim, and of course, this puts a limit on practically all of a woman's choices and even her ability to access safety.

To help bring this hidden reality of financial abuse out into the open, AIB have teamed up with Women’s Aid to drive awareness of the issue. We all need to see, believe and support women who have found themselves trapped due to financial abuse. We need to end this for once and for all.

So, to learn more about financial abuse — whether YOU want help or you want to learn how you can help other women, visit our disguised section right here on Her.ie — www.her.ie/listen. You can also visit Women's Aid online.

The 'Do you need help?' section has information on:

  • domestic violence
  • coercive control
  • the warning signs to look for
  • and how you can help a loved one

Together, we can combat this kind of abuse and put power back into the rightful hands — that of the individual and that of the woman.

Women's Aid services provide a 24hr National Freephone Helpline. Their Dublin-based one-to-one services as well as local independent services are available across the country. Call 1800 341 900 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

You can also take a look at www.toointoyou.ie which is their campaign website for young women aged 18 to 25. 

It provides information on warning signs, a relationship health check, digital safety information and provides a guide to the change in law that now covers this issue.

Brought to you by AIB and Women's Aid