The Cost of Covid-19: Economic abuse and the pandemic

In early 2020, the new coronavirus arrived in the United Kingdom. Now some months into the pandemic, it is clear that the virus itself, as well as the measures introduced to stem its spread and protect the economy, have negatively impacted on members of society. This includes in relation to groups at risk of domestic abuse – of which economic abuse is a form. 

In June 2020, Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) launched The Cost of Covid-19 to explore the experiences and needs of victim-survivors facing economic abuse from a current or former partner throughout the pandemic. We interviewed both victim-survivors and the front-line professionals who work with them to build a picture of their experiences across a number of domains of everyday life linked to economic resources. 

“These new findings shine a light on all of the ways abusers used the Covid-19 restrictions to control their victims’ economic resources and compromise their physical safety. I’m really grateful for all the work charities like Surviving Economic Abuse are doing to highlight this important issue.” – Jess Phillips MP, Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding

SEA is using the project findings to develop recommendations for policy and practice that would enable women to access the support they need during the outbreak and in any future public health emergencies.

Read the full report or access our statistics fact sheet here:

You can also read the briefing on our research design and demographics. If you would like more information on this project, please contact Angela Magny at [email protected].


Standard Life Foundation has supported this project (reference 202005-GR000021) as part of its mission to contribute towards strategic change which improves financial well-being in the UK. The Foundation funds research, policy work and campaigning activities to tackle financial problems and improve living standards for people on low-to-middle incomes in the UK. It is an independent charitable foundation registered in Scotland (SC040877). 

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