Financial abuse is one of the least recognized forms of abuse faced by women who come to the shelter.

When people think of abuse, what comes to mind is usually physical abuse, followed by sexual, emotional or psychological abuse. Financial abuse is something that we rarely discuss openly since it is often indirect and wrapped up in what appears to be otherwise, a healthy relationship. Women in these relationships rarely speak of the issue because of embarrassment and the shame attached to having to account for every dollar spent. Some women are forced to beg for money to purchase the very basic needs which can be humiliating and can create low self-esteem.

She is faced with the choice of staying in an abusive relationship or risk becoming homeless and facing poverty.

Financial dependence is one reason women stay in abusive relationships. If the woman has never handled the family’s finances, independence can be paralyzing. Even though the woman may work full time in the home, the abuser still maintains complete control over the family’s finances. Woman who work outside the home are sometimes coerced into handing over their pay cheque to their partner.

The sudden prospect of having to support herself and her children is terrifying. You are never alone. There’s a safe place for you to go, where you’ll find the support, guidance, emergency shelter and community services you need. If you are experiencing abuse or know someone, please call our Helpline at (780) 479-0058.