Since the announcement of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill in the Queen’s speech, SEA has been calling for the new statutory definition to include reference to economic abuse. This builds on and broadens reference to financial abuse within the current policy definition. We have also asked for economic abuse to be defined within the Bill and for the Crime Survey for England and Wales to ask questions about economic abuse.
Economic abuse is an extremely prevalent form of coercive control, as SEA’s recent analysis of successful prosecutions under the Controlling and Coercive Behaviour legislation shows. Economically abusive behaviours featured in 6 out of 10 cases.
The charity is, therefore, delighted with the focus given to economic abuse within the Government consultation paper published today. Not only does it propose that economic abuse is recognised within the definition but it includes the case study of ‘Lara’ one of the women we are working with to illustrate the far-reaching and long-lasting impact of this form of abuse.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, the Home Secretary acknowledged that economic abuse ‘is something that the Government has been asked to look at’.
SEA’s Director, Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, says: ‘Recognition of economic abuse as a form of coercive control is long overdue. Today’s announcement and the strong line that the Government is taking to ensure that economic abuse is not trivialised but rightly recognised as a crime is very welcome. We look forward to continuing to work with the Home Office to highlight this issue and ensure that victims are supported and can achieve economic justice.’
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