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What is financial abuse?
Financial abuse (also referred to as economic abuse) can take a variety of different forms. It might be financial control, exploitation or sabotage. It can happen in a range of different relationships with partners, family members or carers. Financial abuse could happen to anyone.
If you're affected by financial abuse, we can offer support to help you regain control of your finances. The most important thing is that you talk to someone - there is always help available to you.
What could financial abuse look like?
You or someone you know may be affected by financial abuse. Here are some questions which might help you recognise if this is the case.
Has your partner, family member, carer or friend:
- Asked you to account for everything you spend?
- Insisted you give them your income from salary or benefit payments?
- Stopped you from having access to your bank account or insisted their name be added to your accounts?
- Forced you to take out credit agreements for products that they then use for example car finance or mobile phone contracts?
- Forced you to put all the household bills in your name?
- Stopped you from going to work/college or university?
- Cashed your pension or other cheques without your permission?
- Stopped you from spending on essentials?
How can we help?
If you're affected by financial abuse, we can offer support to help you. Our specialist team are trained to help in these kind of situations and will be respectful and confidential. Where appropriate, they will tailor solutions to your individual circumstances and work with you to make your banking safe and secure, including areas such as:
We understand that your circumstances may make it difficult to have mail received at your home address. We can help you access online statements or update your address to deliver your mail to a secure location.
2. Opening a new account
We can help you set up a new bank account that is unconnected to any existing joint accounts you may have.
3. Cards, PINs and passwords
We can work with you to make sure that only you have access to your online and telephone banking. We can help you change your PINs and passwords and understand other steps you need to take to make sure your banking is secure.
4. Joint accounts
We can help you deal with joint accounts, for example suspending a joint account to make sure no transactions are made or closing a joint account.
How to get in touch
Women’s Aid - leading national organisation supporting women experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
24hour National Freephone Helpline – 1800 341 900
Safe Ireland – the national network of domestic violence services, including refuges, working to end all forms of domestic abuse as experienced by women and children.
Men’s Development Network – advice and support for male victims of domestic abuse
National Helpline – 1800 816 588
LGBT Ireland – advice and support for members of the LGBT+ community
National Helpline – 1890 929 539
Rights and Entitlements
Citizens Information Service – information, advice and advocacy about all aspects of public services, e.g. social welfare, housing, employment rights, health services.
National Helpline – 0761 07 4000
Money Advice & Budgeting Service – MABS – money advice service guiding people through dealing with problem debt.
National Helpline – 0761 07 2000
Safeguarding Ireland - promotes safeguarding of vulnerable adults to protect them from all forms of abuse by persons, organisations and institutions and to develop a national plan for promoting their welfare. They encourage people to report any safeguarding concerns whether this is about yourself, or someone you know and care about.
HSE – If you are concerned about Abuse or want to get help, you can contact the HSE Information Line on 1850 24 1850