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Are you being financially victimized by a partner or spouse?

Not all abuse that takes place in relationships is physical or emotional. One of the types of abuse that doesn't get discussed a lot is financial abuse.

Part of the reason is that many women are conditioned to think, "Well, at least he isn't beating me." However, financial abuse is occurring when one person attempts to make another completely financially dependent upon him or her. This can be done in several ways:

-- By maintaining complete control over money and other resources, which could include use of a food stamp or credit card.

-- Withholding access to cash.

-- Running up thousands of dollars of debt in the partner's name.

-- Forcing their partner to give them access to PIN codes and bank accounts.

-- Making fraudulent loans by stealing the partner's identity.

-- Stealing money from their partner or their family members.

-- Refusing to share information regarding joint finances.

-- Demanding accounting of all household spending via receipts and other documentation.

-- Stopping someone from working or going to school to learn a trade or get a degree.

-- Ruining a partner's credit by running up charges and refusing to pay bills.

-- Withholding basic resources like clothing, medicine and food.

-- Forcing a partner to go to work and turn the wages over to them.

-- Making you sign over or cash in assets or property.

-- Forcing someone to sign power-of-attorney documents.

-- Making a partner work in a family-run business for no wages or less than minimum wage.

Financial abuse is abuse, and there are ways to protect yourself from this type of exploitation. A Massachusetts family law attorney can assist you with taking out a protective order and filing for divorce.

Source: Womenslaw.org, "After the abuser has taken your money and/or run up debt in your name," accessed Oct. 15, 2015

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