The Compass project

Economic abuse rarely takes place on its own. Abusers often use economic abuse alongside other forms of domestic abuse, such as physical abuse and psychological abuse.  

Women who access specialist Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) services, such as refuges or domestic abuse advocates, report experiencing high levels of economic abuse.  

“I had not consciously realised that economic abuse was taking place… I was so focused on trying to protect myself from physical harm and keep my family safe that I only became aware of the economic abuse and the extent of it once I had left.”

No single organisation or agency has a full picture of the abuse a victim-survivor has experienced. The scale and impact of economic abuse means that agencies across many sectors need to take steps to address it. This goes far beyond statutory agencies and charities, and includes financial services, money and debt advice services and the family court system.   

The Compass project is a partnership between Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA), Living Without Abuse (Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland), RISE (Brighton and Hove) and Money Advice Plus.  

It explores how best practices in coordinated community responses to economic abuse can increase economic safety for victim-survivors of domestic abuse.  

The Compass project aims to foster greater coordination between different organisations and agencies to work effectively together to: 

  • keep survivors safe 
  • hold abusers accountable  
  • rebuild economic stability after abuse.  

SEA is leading the 18-month pilot project, funded by Smallwood Trust. We are working with partners in the women’s sector in two localities: Living Without Abuse in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and RISE in Brighton and Hove. Through this pilot we will gain local insight into the need and response to economic abuse. We will build a model of economic advocacy to support victim-survivors, which can be replicated in other areas.  

We are working to identify funders to enable us to continue this vital work longer term.  

To find out more about the Compass project please contact the Project Coordinator: [email protected]