At Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA), our vision is a world in which all women and girls achieve economic equality and can live their lives free of abuse and exploitation.
We’re lucky to be guided and supported by a range of experts so we can raise awareness of economic abuse and transform responses to it. We’re thrilled to announce four new ambassadors, who will be working alongside SEA to create lasting change for victim-survivors of economic abuse.
Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, CEO and Founder of Surviving Economic Abuse, said: “I am thrilled to welcome SEA’s new ambassadors. Rebecca, Marisa, Natalie and Ruth are such passionate advocates whose skills and experience will help us save lives and end economic abuse forever.”
Marisa Bate is a feminist journalist and author. She has written for Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The i Paper, Grazia, Stylist and Vogue.co.uk, among many others.
She was also the first member of staff at the Webby-winning The Pool. Her work focuses on the lives of women, with a particular interest in covering stories related to domestic abuse.
Most recently, she is the author of Wild Hope (HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins) and the founder of the newsletter, Writing About Women.
Marisa said: “From the minute I discovered SEA, I was blown away by an unrelenting commitment to tackle economic abuse, a form of coercive control that is as cruel as it is debilitating.
“Small but mighty, SEA transforms women’s lives, always centring their voices, while revolutionising how government, the financial sector, and the wider public understand and respond to economic abuse, securing legal protections and systems reform.
“Having reported on SEA and worked with the team, it is now extremely rewarding to take on the role of ambassador. It is an honour to lend my voice to such vital and urgent work.”
Natalie is a proud survivor ambassador who continues to raise awareness of the devastating impact of experiencing domestic abuse.
In 2018, Natalie fled her marital home with just the clothes on her back, determined to rebuild her life after her ex-perpetrator was one of the first to be jailed in the UK for controlling and coercive behaviour (CCB). CCB is still misunderstood, by using her platform Natalie educates and raises awareness of CCB, including financial and economic abuse.
Natalie shares her journey and has featured on media outlets such as the BBC Documentary – Is This Coercive Control, MTV Mia Boardman – Domestic Violence and Me, The Sun, Guardian, The Independent, and The Telegraph. Natalie says helping others and driving change for other survivors of domestic abuse is a passion.
Natalie said: “I’m delighted to be a SEA Ambassador. Since 2018 I have been sharing my own personal journey on being a survivor of coercive control which included financial and economic abuse. I use my voice to educate and advise others to help put a stop to domestic abuse.
“I look forward to campaigning and making a difference alongside SEA.”
In 2012 Rebecca suffered a brutal attack at the hands of her abuser who she had tried to leave following years of domestic abuse. She was also left in huge amounts of debt due to the years of financial abuse from her ex-partner.
Rebecca required reconstructive surgery, was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was subjected to years of ongoing abuse and harassment at the hands of her abuser and his family.
The more she learnt about domestic abuse, the more she wanted to do to help others and turn her negative experience into a positive one. She started working with various charities and the media, using her own experiences to raise awareness.
In 2019 Rebecca won The Princes Trust award for ‘Young Ambassador of the Year’ and in 2020 won a ‘Pride of Britain Award’.
Rebecca has helped people across the world leave abusive perpetrators and has motivated many more to take positive action.
Rebecca said: “I first came across SEA many years ago whilst doing research regarding financial abuse and how I could help towards making change around this issue.
“As a victim of domestic abuse which included financial abuse, I had resigned myself to the fact that there wasn’t anything I could do about my own situation, but I wanted to find ways in which I could help others in similar situations.
“I reached out to SEA regarding this and was surprised to find that they were in fact able to help me. I had been left in huge amounts of debt due to the years of financial abuse.
“With the help and support of SEA and Money Advice Plus I was able to get the debt written off. This was life changing for me and something I will be eternally grateful for.
“SEA work tirelessly to save lives and campaign for change. It is an absolute privilege to be an Ambassador for SEA and I look forward to supporting them in all the vital work they do.”
Ruth is a broadcaster, journalist and weather presenter. Alongside her work for ITV Wales, she also talks publicly about her experience of domestic abuse, including economic abuse.
Ruth contributed to our research report, Seen yet sidelined, as well as the launch which included a powerful piece for the Observer. Passionate about sharing her experiences to help others, Ruth works tirelessly sharing her experiences of coercive control and economic abuse on outlets like Sky News, Woman’s Hour and Steph’s Packed Lunch.
Ruth said: “Economic abuse needs to be recognised. Because it’s happening to men and women just like me.
“I’m so proud to work with Surviving Economic Abuse and keep the conversation about economic abuse going.”
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