SEA’s 5th birthday – looking back at our achievements so far

This June, we’re celebrating our 5th birthday! Our CEO, Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, founded Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) way back in June 2017 and what a journey it has been. Our progress is testament to our dedicated team, the organisations and partners we work alongside, our loyal supporters and above all, the brave victim-survivors – the Experts by Experience – who remain at the heart of everything we do.  

Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales said, “It’s been wonderful to watch Surviving Economic Abuse go from strength to strength over the last five years. SEA has done so much to support survivors of economic abuse and I look forward to continuing to work closely with them.” 

To celebrate SEA’s 5th birthday, we’ve been looking back at some of our greatest achievements to date. We’ve drawn up a shortlist of 5 moments…but it hasn’t been easy! 

  • Trained thousands of professionals to recognise economic abuse and better support victim-survivors. Training is one of our core functions, allowing us to influence deep and lasting change across multiple sectors including domestic abuse charities, financial services and local authorities. We have already trained thousands of professionals to help frontline organisations recognise economic abuse, advocate effectively for economic safety and address the systems issues that facilitate ongoing control by an abuser. 
  • Secured crucial amendments to the Domestic Abuse Act (2021) to ensure it works better for victim-survivors. Led by the Experts by Experience, we successfully campaigned for economic abuse to be named and defined  in the Domestic Abuse Act for the first time. With the support of SafeLives and other organisations, we then called for the legislation on controlling or coercive behaviour to be extended to include post-separation abuse. These achievements mean that the domestic abuse act can offer greater protection for victim-survivors of abuse. 

  • Supported writers to accurately bring economic abuse to an audience of 5 million Coronation Street viewers. Alongside our partners at Money Advice Plus, we advised Coronation Street scriptwriters to ensure a storyline centering on Yasmeen Metcalfe delivered an accurate, realistic and responsible portrayal of economic abuse. Supporting this storyline represents a landmark moment for SEA, delivering an immeasurable impact both for those living with this form of abuse and those learning of economic abuse for the first time. 
  • Working with Money Advice Plus to support over 400 victim-survivors last year alone through the Financial Support Line and Casework services. The award-winning Financial Support Line, run in partnership with Money Advice Plus, offers regulated money and debt advice to victim-survivors of domestic abuse. With each caller presenting an average of three separate issues, the specialist casework service is on hand to provide tailored support for the most complex cases. Together, these services support huge numbers of victim-survivors to regain control of their finances.

  • Ensured survivor experience was reflected in the Financial Abuse Code of Practice launched by UK Finance. Through our position on UK Finances’ Financial Abuse Project Group and Consumer Advisory Group, we ensured that the experiences of victim-survivors were reflected within the refresh of the 2021 Financial Abuse Code of Practice. In doing so, the refreshed code increases awareness of what financial abuse looks like and enables financial institutions to deliver consistent support for those customers who need it most. 

Think we’ve missed something? Tweet us @SEAresource with your top SEA 5th birthday highlight! Need some inspiration? Check out our new SEA timeline. 

Could you help us achieve even more? Your donations are critical to our work, helping us create even greater change and reach even more victim-survivors!