Domestic abuse

Domestic Abuse is a defined collective term for an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also a family member or carer. (Women’s Aid)

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to;

Financial abuse involves a perpetrator using or misusing money which limits and controls their partner’s current and future actions. It can include using credit cards without permission, putting contractual obligations in their partner’s name, and gambling with family assets.

Economic abuse, a term used when there is control over someone’s wider economic situation, restricting access to essential resources such as food and clothing, how they travel and impacting their employment. 

Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation. This controlling behaviour is designed to isolate the victim-survivor from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Online and digital abuse can include behaviours such as, monitoring of social media profiles, reading emails, or checking texts.

What could Domestic Abuse look like?

It may be by using control over choices, such as where you live and what clothes you wear, or withholding your bank card or access to online banking. The abuse could be inflicting emotional and mental abuse which may impact social interactions, relationships with friends and family as well as mental wellbeing. This can be happening alongside physical or verbal abuse.

These situations can also lead to physical violence, where the abuser becomes violent to control the victim-survivor or if the victim-survivor refuses a demand. All forms of abuse can leave the customer open to manipulation, fraud or economic harm.

You or someone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse but it can be difficult to recognise the signs. Here are some scenarios to consider.

He stopped me from accessing my account to pay for my basic personal items.

Every time we needed to set up a new bill payment he would say he didn’t have time to do it. Now everything is in my name and I pay everything. 

I wasn’t so sure, but I ended up taking out a credit card in my name as she told me it was better buying items in my name for the children and it would benefit us.

My son said it was best to get his name added to my account for emergencies. But he just uses my money on himself and I struggle each week.

I went to pay for the food shop and the payment failed as there was no money in the account. He told me he needed to spend the money on other things. 


Domestic abuse could happen to you or someone you know. Whatever your situation is, you don’t have to deal with it on your own – we can help. 


How we can help

Get in touch

It takes a lot of courage for an individual to speak up and tell someone that this is happening to them or someone they care about.

We want you to be able to talk to us to discuss your concerns in the strictest confidence and offer you the help and support you need.  To do this you can call:

Additional Support Helpline: 0345 646 0318

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 (excluding bank holidays).


If you need help urgently 

Call the police on 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger. 

If you are unable to talk, call 999, listen to the operator and then either press 55 on a mobile, when prompted, or wait on a landline to be connected to the police, who will be able to help.


Talk to independent people who can help you

You’ll find links and contact details for a range of Government, voluntary and community sector organisations who can provide direct services or care and support by clicking here.

Not Ready to Talk?

The UK Finance ‘It’s Your Money’ guide offers practical guidance and support if you, or someone you know, is a victim-survivor of financial abuse. It also provides a list of organisations that can help you.

There are also a few things you can do

Personal Loan applications

If you are a victim-survivor of Domestic abuse and as a result have poor credit reference ratings which are no fault of your own, please contact us on 0800 38 22 65 to ensure your circumstances are taken into account in any application you may make. Any information provided will be treated confidentially.


Confirmation of Payee

Personal customers can request to opt out of confirmation of payee. This stops your account details being checked when an individual tries to pay you funds. For more information visit our confirmation of payee page.


Communication and keeping your information safe

Think about where letters/statements from your financial service providers are sent, especially if you think someone might be opening these. If you don’t want them going to the same address, get in touch with us.

You can also choose to receive your statements online if you use internet banking.

Remember that some transactions on your statement can indicate where cash machines you have been using are located, or locations of stores where a card payment has been made.


Passwords and security

You should be the only person who knows your account PIN and passwords. Don’t share your details with anyone, even to take out cash or buy something on your behalf.

If you think someone else may have your account PIN and passwords, you can change them by getting in touch with us.

If you’re worried about a relative or friend, check to see if they have shared their account details, passwords, or account PIN information with anybody else.


Third party access

We can help you remove any third-party access from your accounts if you no longer want them to be in place.

Or, if you wish to have someone you trust support you with your finances, we can help you arrange this.

Extra Online Support

Bright Sky App

Bright Sky is a free app that provides support and information for anyone who might be in an abusive relationship or is concerned about someone they know. Some features include:

·         The app is available in 5 languages

·         A UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse services with contacts

·         Content to help understand if you or someone else is experiencing domestic abuse

·         Links to further resources and information

·         Information to help you to stay safe online

The app can be downloaded here: Bright Sky app | Hestia



Refuge Tech Abuse Support

Providing helpful resources and tools to secure your tech: Information and support on tech abuse | Refuge Tech Safety