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Our story

SEA was founded in 2017 by Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, now our CEO, following her 2016 Churchill Fellowship to the US and Australia to learn about best practice in responding to financial abuse. The innovative projects that she witnessed made her determined to ensure that women in the UK received the same response.  

SEA’s highlights

It all starts

The first meeting of 4 founding trustees takes place to begin to set out the future direction for the organisation.

January 2017

May 2017

Spreading the word

Following media coverage on Women’s Hour, the first members of the ‘Experts by Experience’ group get in touch.

Becoming official

Registration with the Charity Commission means we are legally a UK charity.

June 2017

July 2017

Work begins

Our founding project – the Economic Justice Project – launches, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Launch in Parliament

A woman giving a speech from a lectern

The official launch of SEA in Parliament is attended by supporters, volunteers and well-wishers, with Victoria Atkins MP, then Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, speaking in support of our work.

December 2017

December 2017

Research findings

A screenshot of BBC Breakfast news featuring Nicola Sharp-Jeffs

Our first report, Into Plain Sight, publishes to coincide with the charity’s launch and is covered on BBC Breakfast, the Today Programme and in the Guardian. The report finds that six in ten successful prosecutions for controlling or coercive behaviour include economic abuse.

Bringing survivors together

The first meeting of the Experts by Experience group, which now has more than 100 members, is attended by 18 women with lived experience of economic abuse.

March 2017

May 2018

Survivors speak out

The Experts by Experience take part in a Home Office roundtable discussion – organised and facilitated by SEA – as part of the consultation on the Domestic Abuse Bill to ensure survivors’ voices are at the heart of it. This report captures their contribution.

Working in partnership

DEAP - Domestic and Economic Abuse Project

SEA and Money Advice Plus receive funding from the Tampon Tax to work in partnership on the Domestic and Economic Abuse Project (DEAP) to build the capacity of organisations working with victim-survivors.

September 2018

December 2018

Banking on change

A view of a conference taking place, a man is talking and people are sitting in seats listening

Our inaugural conference on banking takes place at Salesforce Tower in London, with the aim of helping banks and financial institutions implement the Financial Abuse Code of Practice developed by UK Finance with charities, including SEA.

Defined in law

The Government launches its draft Domestic Abuse Bill including economic abuse in the statutory definition of domestic abuse. This follows our work to brief civil servants and Ministers.

January 2019

April 2019

Surviving and Thriving

Our first strategy launches, setting out our three-year plans to create change in four ways: awareness-raising and education, professional responses, systems change and policy influencing.

First award nomination

SEA is shortlisted in the 2019 Charity Awards in the Campaigning and Advocacy category for our policy work to get economic abuse recognised in the statutory definition of domestic abuse in the Domestic Abuse Bill.

May 2019

June 2019

First award win

The Domestic and Economic Abuse Project with Money Advice Plus wins an award for Best Partnership at the Institute of Money Advisers Awards.

Best practice in banking

Lloyd’s Banking Group launches its Domestic and Financial Abuse team, trained by SEA to fully understand the complexities that customers experiencing economic abuse face.

August 2019

October 2019

Proposing a change to the law

SEA proposes an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill to extend the offence of controlling or coercive behaviour to post-separation abuse.

Financial Support Line

SEA launches the Financial Support Line and Casework Service for victim-survivors of domestic abuse, together with Money Advice Plus.

July 2020

October 2020

A flurry of honours

Nicola Sharp-Jeffs holding her OBE

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, SEA’s founder and CEO, is awarded an OBE for services to victims of domestic and economic abuse. The news comes a week after we win two Third Sector Awards – one for best partnership with Money Advice Plus and Nicola for Rising CEO.

Economic Abuse Evidence Form

With funding from the Money and Pensions Service, SEA, together with Money Advice Plus, launches the Economic Abuse Evidence Form – a single tool that a money or debt adviser can use as evidence that a client has experienced economic abuse.

January 2021

February 2021

Economic abuse on Corrie

Two characters from Coronation street

SEA advises the writers of Coronation Street on the economic abuse storyline, reaching five million viewers.

Criminalising post-separation abuse

The government announces that it will support SEA’s amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill which leads to post-separation abuse becoming a criminal offence.

March 2021

April 2021

The Cost of Covid-19

SEA publishes The Cost of Covid-19 – a report into the experiences of victim-survivors facing economic abuse by a current or former partner during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rising leader

Nicola on stage receiving an award at the 2021 Charity Times Awards

SEA founder and CEO Nicola Sharp-Jeffs is named Charity Times’ Rising Leader of the Year.

September 2021

December 2021

Financial Abuse Code

UK Finance publishes the 2021 Financial Abuse Code, reflecting economic abuse as a recognised form of domestic abuse. SEA CEO Nicola Sharp-Jeffs wrote the foreword.

Making Waves

Our strategy - making waves

SEA launches its new three-year strategy for 2022-25, Making Waves, outlining plans to focus on improving policy and responses to economic abuse in the financial services and women’s sectors.

April 2022

April 2022

A funding boost

SEA and partners Money Advice Plus are awarded a funding boost of £1.7m from the National Lottery Community Fund to expand the scope of the Financial Support Line and Casework Service and the Economic Abuse Evidence Form.

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