Abuse is originated from the Latin word Abus. Abuse, according to the dictionary means, 'treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.'
Most of us are aware of verbal, physical, mental abuse and assault.
Victims are not just women but also men who silently undergo these abuses.
Not many of us are aware of Financial or Economic Abuse.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial Abuse is mistreatment and undue influence wherein one partner forcibly controls another partner's money and assets and in some cases, their liabilities too.
- Control over money (Having Control over the banking passwords, debit cards and credit cards)
- Misuse of partner’s money.
- Economic exploitation
- Preventing from getting employed (Eg: preventing women or any person from working after marriage by spouse or in laws)
- Determining what the partner needs to spend on.(Victim owing an explanation on money spent.)
- Belittling the one’s Job
- Misappropriation and defalcation
- Teeming and Lading
- Manipulation using undue advantage of position or coercion
- Denial of essentials food, water, shelter and medical and sanitary needs and such other vital necessities.
The biggest form of economic abuse in India is Dowry.
Who are the Victims?
- Elderly: An elderly who is disabled, lonely are often the easy targets.
The abuser here might often offer to help the elderly, money or assets as a quid pro quo.
- Spouses: Taking control over the partner’s finances forcibly.
- Providing a dependent partner an allowance insufficient to run the household.
- Not allowing women to take up employment after marriage for various reasons by partner or in-laws.
- Friends: Abusers often use coercion or undue influence on the victim’s fear of loneliness or need for friends.
- Young Adults: A Parent taking undue advantage of the position.
Is Financial Abuse a Crime?
Yes, financial Abuse is a Criminal Offence In India under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
How to prevent Financial Abuse?
- Keep a check on the bank or credit card statements regularly.
- Request your bank to send notifications to your mobile number.
- Take Legal help.
- Remove the name in the joint account, when there are signs of financial abuse.
. Be aware, know your rights. Voice it out!