Control through finances

No one has the right to use your money or control how you use your money. Financial abuse is used to control a person through their finances. For instance, by deciding what you may or may not purchase, denying you access to your money or cheating you out of your money.

A person being financially abused can become isolated and lose their independence. Since they become dependent upon the person who is abusing them, it can be very difficult to terminate the relationship.

It is financial abuse if a person:

  • Gives you pocket money and monitors what you purchase.
  • Transfers your money into their bank account and refuses you access to it.
  • Prevents you from seeing information regarding shared bank accounts.
  • Forbids you to work or restricts the amount of work you do.
  • Uses your shared finances in excess without your permission.
  • Uses money to control you because you have little or no access to money.
  • Makes you responsible for shared debts.
  • Uses your cards without your permission.
  • Takes loans in your name without your permission.

Get help

It is always best to talk to someone about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. If you want assistance, contact abuse support centres for free: Bjarkarhlíð in Reykjavík, Bjarmahlíð in Akureyri or Sigurhæðir in Selfoss. It doesn‘t matter how long it has been since the abuse occurred.

Everyone, both adults and children, can also talk to someone for free at 1717 (Red Cross helpline) through phone or web chat.

All individuals in Iceland, 18 years or older, are financially competent. That means that you should have control of your own income and assets, can have a bank account in your name over which you have control and is inaccessible to others.

Do you recognize abuse?

See more stories


Ólafur is a modest man in his eighties who lives in his own home. One of his grandchildren, Hrafnhildur, often helps him with things that are difficult for him, such as going to the store and paying bills. Ólafur gave Hrafnhildur access to his online bank for this purpose.

A few months later when Ólafur was going to buy himself a new sofa it turned out that Hrafnhildur had regularly transferred money from his account to hers. He does not believe that she has been stealing but when he asks her about this she says she thinks she deserves this and will not pay him back.

Is this abuse?

More support


Bjarkarhlíð is a center for people who have experienced abuse. There you get all the support and counseling you need in one place. All assistance is on your terms.

Bjarmahlíð in Akureyri

Bjarmahlíð is a center for people who have experienced abuse. There you get all the support and counseling you need in one place. All assistance is on your terms.

Women's Shelter

The Women‘s Shelter offers counseling and a safe place to stay for any woman who has experienced abuse in a close relationship.

Labor exploitation

Labor exploitation is when a person is exploited without getting the rights and wages she has the rights to according to law. The perpetrator uses deceit and threats to maintain the situation.

Digital abuse

Digital abuse is when someone uses technology or technological devices to monitor, harass, threaten, or humiliate you.