Surviving Economic Abuse

Surviving economic abuse during the pandemic



Income & Spending



May to October 2020

Grant Awarded



Project summary

A rapid review to ascertain the immediate and ongoing economic safety needs of victim-survivors of economic abuse in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, and aims to influence policy and practice to benefit women.

SEA will collect evidence through contact with victim-survivors and frontline service providers who can speak for those who, due to safety reasons, cannot participate directly. The team will analyse and present the evidence, and undertake policy work to influence decision-makers to implement the desired change.


Economic abuse affects one in five women in the UK. Since the start of the pandemic, calls to SEA’s casework service have increased by 66% and website traffic by 84%.

Women are contacting SEA with a range of pressing concerns:

  • maintaining utilities, including internet access to seek support;
  • job security worries and loss of income;
  • accessing Universal Credit;
  • housing insecurity arising from mortgage/rent arrears;
  • accessing child maintenance.

Project overview

SEA will survey 400 victim-survivors and 100 professionals on the victim experience of economic abuse in the context of coronavirus, and will conduct 50 semi-structured interviews to explore issues in greater depth.

Evidence gathered and analysed will feed into the development of an influencing strategy containing tailored strands of work to achieve specific outcomes in response to immediate and emerging needs. A reference group of those with lived experience will ensure this is also conveyed to decision makers.

The survey and initial interviews will include questions about emerging and anticipated future needs, which will be included in the initial analysis. In this second part of the project, SEA will conduct follow-up interviews to learn whether this was as expected and/or whether these have changed/evolved.