Following on from our blog last year, this blog focuses solely on financial/economic abuse which is a recently recognised form of domestic abuse. Financial abuse is an aspect of coercive control – a pattern of controlling, threatening and degrading behaviour that restricts a victim’s freedom and exerts power over the other party to the relationship. – https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/financial-abuse/.
One in five adults in the UK have been a victim of financial abuse in a current or past relationship – https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/aboutus/ourbusiness/ethicalpolicy/ethicalcampaigns/FinancialAbuse/What-is-financial-abuse.
Financial abuse in an intimate relationship is a way of controlling a person’s ability to acquire, use and maintain their own independent money/financial resources. The impact of financial abuse can be both devastating and long-term.
Dr Nicola Sharp developed “The Economic Abuse Wheel” and this is a useful tool when trying to recognise financial/economic abuse and facilitate discussions with both victims and professionals. This can be found at the end of this blog.
In the first instance you should contact the police for assistance. If they are unable to help you, there are remedies available in the Family Court to protect yourself and your children. These include non-molestation orders which prevent a person from doing something and occupation orders which remove a person from property i.e. family home.
It is still possible to obtain legal aid for non-molestation orders and occupation orders and we are happy to have assessment interviews with you via telephone to see if you would meet the eligibility criteria or what evidence you would need to obtain to meet the eligibility criteria. Even if you think you might not be eligible, pick up the phone 01273 684 666 and talk to us as we may be able to refer you to other services for assistance or you may wish to consider our fixed fee appointment for £100 plus VAT to obtain some initial advice.