SEA launches digital guide to help victims identify economic abuse


Visit the guide

Surviving Economic Abuse and Money Advice Plus have launched a digital guide to help people understand if they are victims of economic abuse.

Many survivors report that they haven’t always been able to understand or identify what is happening to them until much further down the line. This can be because of the insidious drip-drip-drip nature of the abuse, sometimes initially masked as acts of kindness, as well as the need for greater public awareness of this type of abuse.

To tackle this essential first step on the path to freedom, SEA teamed up with digital agency Neon Tribe to create an informative and supportive online guide which can identify if a person is experiencing abuse and signpost them to relevant sources of help.

The guide is funded by Comic Relief’s Tech vs Abuse programme, which supports domestic abuse organisations to test and build creative digital solutions, co-designed with users, to improve the safety of people affected by abuse.

If a victim is unable to recognise and identify abuse, this can mean that they do not know how to access the help they need or explain their situation to services such as banks, police or local authorities.

SEA is dedicated to raising awareness of economic abuse. This commitment has resulted in economic abuse being included in the statutory definition of domestic abuse in the Domestic Abuse Bill, and the recent successful amendment to the Bill which will now recognise post-separation abuse as a criminal offence. Despite these successes, it is still essential we continue to raise awareness of economic abuse among the wider public.


Understanding the needs of victim-survivors

“As a victim, it’s like the rug has totally been pulled out from under you. And then you’re just abandoned. And you need someone to tell you “it is this” – Survivor of Economic Abuse 

At SEA, we are survivor-led and work closely with the  Experts by Experience group, a group of victim-survivors who share their experiences in order to guide our work. It was essential to us that survivors’ experiences were the starting point.

After conversations with a variety of victims-survivors of different ages, ethnicities and incomes, we identified three areas that the guide would need to reflect and engage with.

  • Awareness-raising: Defining what is happening to you is difficult as awareness and understanding of economic abuse is limited
  • Specific, practical information: Economic abuse leaves women with practical problems that need solving. These problems are often complex, such as navigating the child maintenance system or understanding what benefit support you are eligible for. Victims of economic abuse need digestible information that makes it easy to find for their specific situation
  • Recognise toll on mental health: Realising you are or have been a victim of economic abuse can have a huge strain on your mental health. For this reason, it is essential that digital solutions should be supportive, offering guidance and reassurance.


Next Steps

Once we had this understanding, we set out to make the guide a reality. To bring the project to life, we teamed up with digital agency Neon Tribe who instantly understood the complexities and sensitives around economic abuse and its implications. Together, we ran further workshops that included members of our Experts by Experience group. After several versions and important feedback from all involved, we arrived at the Surviving Economic Abuse Guide.


International Women’s Day 2021 #ChooseToChallenge

We want this tool to help empower victims to understand and identify their experiences, which is the essential first step on the path to accessing help, finding freedom and rebuilding their lives. We are thrilled to launch this tool on International Women’s Day and will always #ChooseToChallenge economic abuse