What Does Economic Violence Include? An Opinion from a Domestic Violence Lawyer

What Does Economic Violence Include? An Opinion from a Domestic Violence Lawyer 

People are generally short-sighted in matters related to domestic abuse. Still, if you ask your domestic violence lawyer, they will tell you that there are many forms of abuse. Economic abuse is relatively unspoken about, but it is something that is prevalent.


Any type of domestic violence has serious sanctions, so contact your lawyer if you need to be advised of your rights.

Definition of Economic Violence

Economic or financial violence refers to actions by a family member showing that they have attempted to unjustifiably control another family member’s economic or financial freedom. For behaviour to be regarded as economic abuse, it has to be done without the person in question’s consent.

Types of Economic Violence

There are different kinds of economic abuse, and some forms of financial abuse might not be as apparent as others. Below are some examples.

Controlling Someone’s Finances

  • Controlling a family member’s finances.
  • Dictating how the household income should be used.
  • Coercing a family member to claim certain social security benefits such as Centrelink.
  • Forcing a family member to stand as surety for a loan or make them take out a loan in their name.
  • Pressurising a family member to apply for a credit card.
  • Making a family work and not paying them.
  • Instituting fraudulent insurance claims.
  • Forging the signature of a family member on documents.
  • Spending a family member’s pension
  • Selling a family member’s things.
  • Abusing a family member’s Power of Attorney
  • Making a family member amend their Will under duress.


Preventing a Family Member From Making Money

  • Stopping a family member from securing employment.
  • Stopping a family member from attending work or work-related events by depriving them of sleep or using violence.
  • Stopping a family member from getting an education.
  • Stalking or, in any other way harassing a family member’s coworkers.

Restricting a Family Member From Accessing Their Funds

  • Preventing a family member from using their bank accounts
  • Not allowing a family member access to funds for basic necessities such as food or medicine.
  • Damage, destruction or theft of someone’s property.
  • Accruing debt on joint accounts or credit cards.
  • Withholding financial obligations such as child support payments
  • Not working or contributing to the household income.
  • Gambling family members’ money or money held together.


If you have been engaging in this behaviour, stopping would be in your best interest. Domestic abuse of any kind is highly frowned upon, and the law takes it seriously.


If a family member accuses you of economic abuse, they may apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order against you. This will prevent you from committing family violence against that person. These orders may specify many conditions that, if not followed, can result in criminal charges.


If you have been accused of financial abuse and need to find a way forward, contact us. We can also advise you on any applicable defences. Financial Abuse is a serious offence.


If you are a victim of economic abuse or domestic violence, you should also get legal advice. Contact a lawyer or the police station to find out how you can get the protection you deserve.


Regardless of which party you are, everyone has rights. Get the legal advice that you require now.






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