Spotting the signs of economic abuse

Economic abuse takes many forms, but usually involves someone's partner controlling how they make, spend or use money. Many survivors will also experience other forms of domestic abuse alongside economic abuse.

Our latest study with Refuge found that economic abuse affects more people in the UK than you might think. It might even be happening to you or someone you know. That's why we're proud to be working with the charities Refuge and Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) to help people know what to look out for so they can get the advice and support they need.

If you think you are experiencing economic abuse or need support, help is available. Please call Refuge's confidential National Domestic Abuse 24/7 Helpline free on 0808 2000 247 or visit

Spotting the signs: Is it happening to you?

Economic abuse can have a devastating impact on your life, but you might not know it's happening to you. Some signs can be harder to recognise than others. For instance, does your partner make you feel like you're bad with money? Do they stop you from working or earning money? Are you only 'allowed' to spend money on essentials? These could be signs of economic abuse.

Watch this video to find out more about the warning signs to look out for.

If you need support or want to learn more about the signs of economic abuse, you can find more information at

Spotting the signs: Is it happening to family or friends?

If you think someone you care about is being abused, it can be difficult to know how to support them or what to look out for. You may even worry about making things worse. If you have a friend or relative whose behaviour with money has changed, even if their personal circumstances haven't, it could be a sign they're experiencing economic abuse. Are they scared to spend money on themselves? Are they always short of money even though they work? Do they get anxious about spending money?

Watch this video to find out more about the warning signs to look out for.

If you're looking for ways to support a loved one or just want to find out more about economic abuse, please visit the Surviving Economic Abuse or Refuge website.

Know economic abuse

We have again partnered with Refuge to conduct a new study into the extent of economic abuse in the UK in 2020 with our ‘Know economic abuse’ campaign.

Read the findings

What can I do?

If you have experienced economic abuse, or if you are unsure but want to find out more, we want you to know we are here for you and have a range of support and resources available.

Find out more

Not found what you're looking for?

Contact our support team