We’re delighted to share that Surviving Economic Abuse has made the shortlist for this year’s Charity Awards. SEA has been shortlisted in the ‘Campaigning and Advocacy’ category for our successful call for an amendment to the Domestic Abuse extending the offence of controlling or coercive behaviour to include post-separation abuse. The need for this campaign was identified via the women who work alongside SEA as Experts by Experience.
SEA’s founder and CEO, Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE said, “It’s an honour to be shortlisted among so many impressive nominees. Recognising post-separation abuse in law is a big step forward in supporting victim-survivors of economic abuse to achieve justice. This was very much a team effort and I am delighted that the hard work of the SEA team and Experts by Experience, alongside support from VAWG sector charities, academics and parliamentarians has been recognised.”
“This type of abuse has affected every part of my daily life; it has seemed to be endless and has left me feeling helpless and powerless to affect change. Knowing this will now be a criminal offence is a huge relief. I am delighted and proud that my story has helped raise awareness and played a part in pushing this much needed amendment through.” Layla*, a victim-survivor of economic abuse.
*Not real name.
In 2017 SEA welcomed the government’s announcement that legislation would be brought forward to protect victims of domestic abuse. To ensure that victim-survivor voices were at the heart of the Domestic Abuse Bill, SEA invited members from the Experts by Experience Group (EEG) to participate in a roundtable as part of the government’s consultation on the Bill.
At the meeting they explained that economic abuse can continue, escalate or even start after a victim leaves the abuser – even if the abuser doesn’t know where they are.
Post-separation economic abuse could include: spending money from the victim’s bank account; running up bills in the victim’s name; and non-payment for a joint mortgage to the point of repossession which could lead to homelessness.
In fact, one in four women report that their former partner continues to economically abuse and control them after the relationship has ended.
“Economic abuse is your past, present and future,” one woman said at the Home Office roundtable. Another survivor told the room: “He has ongoing, indefinite power to destroy our lives.”
After months of campaigning alongside survivors, activists, academics, on 1 March 2021 the government announced it would include the amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill, to extend the controlling or coercive behaviour offence to include post-separation abuse. This was what SEA had campaigned for.
You can see the full timeline of our engagement with the Domestic Abuse bill here.
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