Report – Surviving Economic Abuse – The Economic Abuse Threat facing Girls & Women in the UK: 6 Moments That Matter in the Lives of Female Survivors

A new report has identified the 6 Moments That Matter in which survivors of economic abuse can be supported by organisations across the financial services sector.

The report, The Economic Abuse Threat facing Girls & Women in the UK: 6 Moments That Matter in the Lives of Female Survivors has been written by Jane Portas, creator of 6 Moments That Matter and co-founder of Insuring Women’s Futures, and Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE, founder and CEO of Surviving Economic Abuse.

The 6 Moments That Matter are key points during all our lives where we can take control to secure our financial future. They are: Growing Up, Studying & Re-Qualifying; Entering & Re-Entering the Workplace; Relationships: Making Up & Breaking Up; Parenthood & Becoming a Carer; Later Life, Planning & Entering Retirement; and Ill-health, Infirmity & and Dying.

These key points in girls’ and women’s lives were reinforced through focus group discussions with female survivors of economic abuse.

The nature of domestic abuse means that abusers will use these moments as opportunities to control and coerce. For many survivors, abusers’ actions affect lifelong financial resilience and this report highlights how they can be helped to take back control.

In the UK, one in eight adults (12.2%)  – 5.9million people – experience economic abuse in their lifetime from a partner or family member. 4.2 million of them are women.

The report is calling on the financial services sector and organisations across the financial system including banks, insurers, financial guidance, trade and professional bodies, and employers more broadly, to follow the momentum of the recently passed Domestic Abuse Act passed in April 2021, which includes economic abuse, and to adopt holistic and person-led approaches to support female survivors, while working towards protecting customers and employees from future abuse. Everyone has a role to play.

Currently, the sector is a provider of day-to-day bank accounts to 51.1 million adult customers, insurance to nine in ten adults and an employer of 1.1 million people. These numbers illustrate that the financial services sector is particularly well placed to tackle economic abuse.

The report includes a PEOPLE Framework which offers financial services firms a blueprint to help take forward approaches to economic abuse appropriate to their organisation.

A panel of leading figures from the financial services sector, alongside the report’s authors, launched the report on 20th July.  SEA is pleased that the Financial Conduct Authority, UK Finance and the Association of British Insurers are supporting this work and looks forward to working across the sector to take the findings forward.

Recommendations made by the report include: a person-led approach to support a coordinated, holistic response to economic abuse including for complex cases, which sees the financial services sector work with government, employers and the third sector, among others; the collection of intersectional and life circumstances data to better support a diversity of survivors; and the need for awareness raising.

 You can download the full report here.