Economic abuse throughout the pandemic

A call to build economic safety for women and girls

Surviving Economic Abuse

April 2021 

In their report The Cost of Covid: Economic abuse throughout the pandemic, Surviving Economic Abuse has revealed how domestic abusers used Covid-19 restrictions to restrict, exploit and/or sabotage victims' economic resources, compromising their physical safety.

The research found that since the arrival of the pandemic, abusers controlled victims' access to their finances, benefits, child maintenance payments, everyday necessities such as food and utility bills, housing, as well as their ability to work or study.

Key findings indicate that, during the pandemic:

  • 79% said the perpetrator had tried to control their finances
  • 72% said because of the perpetrator’s actions, their financial situation had worsened
  • 45% said because of the perpetrator’s' actions, their employment or education had worsened
  • 84% said they were worried about receiving CMS payments
  • 94% of women living with the perpetrators reported they were worried about their current access to economic resources and core necessities
  • One third said because of the perpetrator's actions, their housing situation had worsened.
  • 57% of women said that their ability to seek help in relation to the perpetrator had been negatively impacted by lockdown and social distancing measures

As lockdown measures began to lift, Surviving Economic Abuse called on Government and businesses to further ensure women and girls' economic safety remains a priority, including offering an economic safety plan for women and girls, and supporting migrant women.

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Housing and accommodation

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Welfare benefits

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Child maintenance

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Interim report

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Family playing on top of coins