With financially abusive behaviour, the most important first step is to address the practical side of what’s happening.

You’ll need to understand the extent of what’s going on before you’re able to tackle it. In cases where there has been a lot of secrecy surrounding finances, it can be difficult to fully know how much has been spent. If you’re able, try to take account of your finances: what’s been spent and when, and how much debt has been accumulated.

You may need to speak to a financial expert. Advice on this, as well as links to a number of free online resources, can be found in our .

With most relationship issues, we would always recommend trying to get to a point where you and your partner are able to talk openly and honestly about what’s happening.

However, this is only advisable if you think you’ll be able to do this without compromising your safety. If you feel like attempting to broach this topic could put you in danger, you may want to seek professional advice before proceeding.24/7 freephone number staffed by volunteers who can talk you through your options and help you think about next steps.

You may also want to consider forming a safety plan. This involves thinking, in detail, about what you would need to do if your partner were to react in a threatening manner, including:

  • Where you would talk, and where the exits are in the room.
  • Who you could go to in order to be safe – this could be family, friends, colleagues or someone else you trust.
  • Practical arrangements such as travel and having clean clothes and money.

If you feel that the situation doesn’t warrant this level of precaution, you may instead like to read our. This article will help you think about ways to broach difficult topics so that you and your partner are able to talk about what’s happening with the conversation turning into a big argument.