Domestic violence and financial abuse

Financial abuse is a form of domestic violence where a person uses money as a form of power or control over their partner.

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What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is a form of family and domestic violence, where access to money and other economic resources is controlled, exploited or sabotaged by an abusive partner. 

Has your partner:

  • accrued debts in your name? (e.g. credit cards, loans, bills, fines, company or tax debts)
  • borrowed money they have not paid back?
  • pressured you to sign a personal guarantee or make a false declaration? 
  • used your personal information to open an account without your permission?
  • made you a director of a company that they control?

These are all signs of financial abuse. 

Many people experiencing financial abuse may not recognise the signs of abuse until the relationship ends. The impacts of financial abuse can continue long after the relationship breaks down.

Financial abuse affects people of all ages and incomes. Financial abuse is not your fault. It is important to know that help is available.​


Our services that can help

Redfern Legal Centre provides free and confidential advice about financial abuse. Our financial abuse team can also work with other services to help you address legal and non-legal issues related to financial abuse.


Distressed woman with hand on head holds a pencil in other hand - orange tinted image

Free, confidential legal advice for people across NSW experiencing financial abuse by an intimate partner or ex-partner.

Other services that can help

Domestic violence services

Financial counselling services

Housing and homelessness

Family law services

How to contact us

You can ask for a free telephone interpreter if you need one. If you leave a voicemail, please tell us your name and how we can safely contact you.


If we can’t help solve your legal or non-legal problem, we will try to refer you to another service that can.

We welcome referrals from community workers. Call us and we will be happy to discuss if we can help.

Learn more about financial abuse

Sandra's* story 

The power of love and money

RLC’s financial abuse team leader, Laura Bianchi, discusses how RLC's financial abuse service is helping people regain financial independence after domestic violence. 


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How to seek help for financial abuse

In this short explainer video, experts discuss financial abuse warning signs and support services available.


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Financial abuse: Jessica's* story

When Jessica* met her partner, she had long term employment, a stable rental and significant savings. But things all changed after she moved in with a financially abusive partner.


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My husband was secretly spending my money

Learn more about how financial abuse can occur and where to seek help.

View article

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Law reform

RLC's financial abuse service works to improve outcomes for victim-survivors, and helps guide responses to financial abuse by government and industry. Our change-making work is supported by Ecstra Foundation.

RLC coordinates the NSW chapter of the Economic Abuse Reference Group (EARG). 


Domestic violence and financial abuse news

RLC in the media

One partner’s bad money habits can cause lasting damage unless early action is taken. Rising cost of living pressures due to higher interest rates are hurting women’s financial progress and increasing the risk of relationship debt.
Credit and debt financial abuse person opening empty wallet

© Redfern Legal Centre 1977 - 2022

Gadigal Land, PO Box 1805,
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012