Red flags that someone might be experiencing economic harm
May 10, 2022
To protect and support friends and whānau, it’s useful to be able to recognise behaviours that indicate economic harm could be occurring.
We share various red flags that could mean someone you know is experiencing economic harm – a form of family violence that can have a long-lasting impact.
What is economic harm?
Economic harm is an illegal behaviour towards a person that controls, restricts or removes their access to money, economic resources or participation in financial decisions.
It is experienced in many close personal relationships, particularly intimate partner relationships. It may also include forms of elder abuse.
Economic harm can take forms in all shapes and sizes. It can easily go unnoticed to begin with.
Below are some scenarios that may cause concern. Individually these may mean very little, however several together can show a pattern of behaviour that indicates economic harm may be occurring.
What should you do if someone you know is experiencing economic harm
The most important factor to keep in mind is that someone who is experiencing economic harm may not feel comfortable or safe having a conversation with their partner about what is happening with their money.
They also may not be ready to disclose the harm they are experiencing to anyone else.
If you are concerned, you can encourage them to reach out for support, or encourage them to read more about actions they can take on our economic harm hub.
Our Economic Harm Specialists can provide support with the financial challenges of family violence. They have experience in financial capability and advocacy and working with those who have experienced family violence or economic harm.
If economic harm is occurring, other forms of family violence may also be present and family violence agencies are best placed to work with you to establish whether other forms of abuse are occurring.
It is important to take some form of action to stop or address economic harm, but only when it is safe to do so.