The Financial Support Line for Victims of Domestic Abuse
A partnership between Money Advice Plus and Surviving Economic Abuse
“Economic abuse involves behaviours (control, exploitation and sabotage)that interfere with a partner’s ability to acquire, use and maintain economic resources. In the context of domestic violence, it commonly takes place alongside physical, sexual and psychological abuse”.
The Domestic and Economic Abuse Project (DEAP) aims to build the capacity of organisations that are in contact with victim-survivors to respond effectively helping them to understand the physical safety and support needs of this group when giving debt/ money advice.
Money Advice Plus delivers the Financial Support Line for victims of Domestic Abuse
Money Advice Plus delivers specialist money advice (debts and benefits) by telephone for anyone who has experienced or is experiencing domestic abuse. Individuals can access this service wherever they live in England and Wales. We will consider the safety of the client throughout the process of giving money advice.
We are able to offer anything from simple budgeting skills, making token offers to creditors and applying for grants to providing guidance and support all the way through to insolvency. There is a dedicated money adviser available to give information to enable the client to make an informed choice about their options.
Economic abuse can manifest in a variety of ways. Often a partner is made to take out loans and/or credit, thus incurring large debts in their own name. They can be prevented from working, claiming benefits, or benefits are put into the abusers name only. They are made to account for every penny and not allowed to spend money on themselves or the children. They are made to hand over all financial control with the abuser controlling their bank account, thus creating financial dependency, isolating them and making it difficult to leave. Alternatively, an abuser may not take control of access to financial resources but refuses to contribute to costs through exploiting their partner. This creates financial instability which can also reduce available income and the ability to make decisions.
The aim of the casework is to help empower victims of domestic abuse, support them to become independent, how to manage] their finances once they have regained control and become confident about dealing with their money and debt issues, increasing financial stability.
We offer a bespoke service to each individual.
The ‘Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse Consultation Response and Draft Bill’ was published by the government in January 2019.
“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological, physical, sexual, economic and emotional forms of abuse.
Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape, and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten a person”.
Economic Abuse has been recognised within the new statutory definition of domestic abuse for the first time.
We want to help translate this focus into practice by supporting the finance/housing/money advice sectors to understand economic abuse, the consequences it has for the survivor and how responses need to be tailored to this group.
Require further information:
Money Advice Plus in partnership with Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) is able to provide tailored training on economic abuse to finance/housing/money advice and domestic abuse services.
Part one: Economic abuse
Definitions, implications and understanding: Defining economic abuse; case studies; exploring how economic abuse threads through coercive control; research findings; and exploring the ripple effects of economic abuse.
Part two: Integrated working
Partnership working vs. referrals: An introduction to integrated working Money Advice Plus and the importance of using a safety lens.
Part three: Economic safety
Conversation kit- screening for economic abuse; de-linking from abuse; maximising income and reducing risk; and practical tools and resources.
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