SEA responds to Home Office refusal to grant Emergency Fund for domestic abuse survivors

Victim-survivors of domestic abuse are likely to be among the worst affected by the cost-of-living crisis which is why SEA, together with Women’s Aid, has been calling for an emergency fund to support victim-survivors to escape abuse. We were disappointed to hear that the Home Office has decided that the fund will not be taken forward.

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE, founder and CEO of Surviving Economic Abuse said,

“We are incredibly disappointed to hear that the Home Office will not be taking the Emergency Support Fund forward.

A lack of funds is too often the barrier to a woman leaving an abuser and the cost-of-living crisis makes this situation even more desperate. We know from our partners at Money Advice Plus that two thirds of abuse survivors are already in a negative budget or have less than £100 left over at the end of each month. The proposed emergency fund could make the difference between a woman’s ability to leave an abuser and reach safety, or remaining trapped, at risk of escalating abuse and even homicide.

Last year we were encouraged to see TSB set up a flee fund that will financially support customers fleeing an abuser. However, it should not be left to the banks to help survivors leave anyone, regardless of where they bank, should be able to access economic safety. We therefore urge government to step up to this responsibility. We will continue to call for an Emergency Support Fund and stand with Women’s Aid and other partners in the sector to challenge this decision.”