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Financial Abuse Affects Teens

This post discusses the sensitive topic of domestic violence.

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence can take different forms and show up in different populations. One of these populations is teenagers. On the eve of the start of October, CNBC published ” Nearly one-third of tees relationships show sings of financial abuse study finds“.

Some examples of financial abuse in teen relationships are:

  • stopping someone from going to school or work
  • directing someone how to spend (or not spend) their money
  • pressuring someone to lend money
  • using gifts or money to control behavior

The study mentioned in the article found that 61% of teen would discuss money in relationships with a trusted adult but less than a third have actually done this. The article concludes that while kids would talk about these matters with a parent or guardian, that adult will likely have to initiate those discussions.

However, there are also instances where the adults in a teenager’s life are less than reliable role models. If teens witness financial abuse at home or within their communities, they may not see it as problematic. They may also be less likely to approach adults for help if they think the adults are caught up in the same issue.

The article also points to Personal Finance 2.0 as a resource for teens. It is an overall financial literacy guide that addresses what financial health looks like in a relationship. A comprehensive guide like this that doesn’t just focus on one problematic issue offers teens an overall look at finances without zeroing in on a subject that they may find uncomfortable to discuss on its own. 

Parents may find that similar approach works. Instead of questioning a teen about whether they have been a victim or perpetrator of financial abuse, it might be better to keep the lines of communication open by discussing a variety of topics.