Yesterday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his autumn statement, setting out the government’s financial plans. Responding to this, Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE, founder and CEO of Surviving Economic Abuse said:
“We welcome the news that the Chancellor is increasing benefits in line with inflation. Along with Women’s Aid, we have supported Refuge’s call for urgent changes to the welfare-benefits system.
“However, soaring food and energy prices mean that many will still face immense financial pressure over the next few months. We know from our Financial Support Line, run in partnership with Money Advice Plus (MAP), that 67% of victim-survivors of domestic abuse are already in a negative budget or have less than £100 surplus at the end of each month, and that average debts are six times higher than in 2020.
The rising cost of living presents abusers with an excuse to withhold economic resources and the repercussions of restricting finances will be greater as money doesn’t travel as far. Increasing financial pressures will further restrict women’s options, even trapping them with an abuser. An Emergency Support Fund is critical to support victim-survivors in the UK and allow them to safely move forward with their lives.”
If you are experiencing economic abuse, or know someone who is, SEA’s Cost of Living resource contains information on support that may be available to you.
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