Identifying Financial Abuse

(WTNH)-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.

Resources

  • Purple Purse – A non-profit organization sponsored by Allstate.
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ncadv.org
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.

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