Latest News

SEA in the news! (January 2017)
As the plans to transform SEA into a charity and to develop service responses to economic abuse gather pace, the SEA website has been featured within an article on financial abuse in YOU magazine. The work of SEA's Director, Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, is also quoted in this important awareness-raising piece. Watch this space...

SEA to become a charity (January 2017)
Inspired by her Winston Churchill travels, Nicola Sharp-Jeffs (Director of SEA) plans to transform the SEA platform into a charity so that the innovative responses to economic abuse in Australia and the US are available to women in the UK too. Pending the publication of her report, an overview of Nicola's travels can be found via the following links:

Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship (July and November 2016)
Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, the Director of SEA, successfully applied to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WMCT) for a travelling fellowship to learn about innovative responses to financial abuse. Her objectives were to: explore how different stakeholders work alone and together to address this issue; evaluate the potential for transferring learning to the UK; facilitate a strategic discussion about financial/economic abuse; and disseminate a report of these activities.

Addressing Financial Abuse (April 2016)
The Citizen's Advice Bureau has published a report on behalf of the Addressing Financial Difficulty Group. Addressing Financial Abuse offers information and a framework for banks, other creditors and advice providers to use in response to financial abuse.

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls: Strategy 2016-2020 (March 2016)
The Government have revised their violence against women and girls strategy. Disappointingly no reference is made to financial/economic abuse despite the new offence of coercing or controlling behaviour. In only one place is the possible impact of financial abuse acknowledged. Chapter two (provision of services) states that: ‘there is no generic approach to victims of violence and abuse' but it is acknowledged that needs ‘may be complex’ and may include assistance with debt. Whilst the Refuge/Cooperative Bank ‘My money my life’ campaign (see below) is highlighted as a case study on page 39 there is no narrative about what role the Government intends to play in tackling this issue.

Recognition of the role employers can play in identifying abuse and developing robust workplace strategies to support victims of domestic violence does however remain within the refreshed strategy. It is noted that over 60 companies have signed up to the Domestic Abuse Responsibility Pledge promoted by the joint Health and Work Unit and the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence.

Evidence Tests for Domestic Violence Unlawful (February 2016)

Rights of Women was successful in its legal challenge of the domestic violence evidence requirements for family law legal aid. After a hearing in the Court of Appeal on 28 January the two year time limit for evidence has been ruled unlawful and the Government required to amend the legal aid regulations to ensure that women experiencing financial abuse are able to access family law legal aid. In practice this means:
The list of domestic violence evidence set out in the legal aid regulations is no longer subject to a 24 month time limit. Any of the forms of evidence on the current list should be accepted by the Legal Aid Agency without any time limit as to when it was obtained or when it arose.

The Ministry of Justice must add a form or forms of evidence to the list of domestic violence evidence which will allow victim/survivors of financial abuse to apply for family law legal aid. Until it is determined what forms of evidence are realistically available for financial abuse, victim/survivors of financial abuse applying for family law legal aid should submit any evidence they are able to obtain to show they have experienced financial abuse and ask the Legal Aid Agency to accept it.
DV Law Reform (December 2015)
The new offence of coercive or controlling behaviour came into force in December 2015. Introduced within Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act (2015), the legislation recognises that intimate partner violence rarely relates to a single incident, but is a purposeful pattern of behaviour whereby one partner exerts power and control over another.

As the Government definition of domestic violence recognises, intimate partner violence includes financial abuse. SEA is therefore delighted to see that the statutory guidance framework published on 05/12/15 gives examples of behaviours related to financial abuse including: depriving a victim of their basic needs; control of finances; criminal damage (including destruction of household goods); and preventing a victim from working. It also recognises that older women who have not worked may be particularly reliant on abusive partners. Similarly those who are being cared for may face barriers to reporting abuse.

In order to gather evidence related to financial abuse, the statutory guidance directs police and criminal justice agencies to the College of Policing toolkit for financial investigations. Bank records are cited as a potential source of evidence - however investigation of financial abuse is in its infancy. SEA will therefore be monitoring the implementation of this legislation with interest.

My Money, My Life (December 2015)
The Co-operative Bank and Refuge have launched a new research report 'Money Matters' which reveals that nearly one in five British adults have experienced financial abuse in an intimate relationship. The report combines a study of over 4,000 adults with academic analysis and qualitative research interviews undertaken with 20 survivors of domestic abuse who accessed Refuge's specialist services. Whilst victims span gender, age and income groups, 60% of all cases are reported by women who are also more likely to experience financial abuse as a form of coercive control alongside emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

Government Funding for VAWG Services (July 2015)
The government has announced a £3.2 million fund to boost the provision of VAWG services including refuges. The fund will be open to proposals from local partnerships that demonstrate how the needs of victims can be met in innovative ways, working through collaboration and helping to address any gaps in the delivery of services in the short term. This announcement builds on the £10 million funding for refuges announced in March 2015.

Summer Budget 2015 (July 2015)
The Summer Budget has announced a review of the full range of services currently available to victims of domestic abuse and a refreshed VAWG strategy in the autumn.

Ahead of the Spending Review, the government will draw together evidence from frontline professionals to review how services for victims of violence against women and girls are funded and delivered and feed into a refreshed Violence Against Women and Girls strategy in the autumn.’

Financial Abuse ‘Under the Radar’ (June 2015)
Research by Citizens Advice suggests that just 2 in 5 UK adults are aware that domestic abuse can include a financial element.  It also reveals that many people are not aware that domestic abuse extends beyond physical violence: 4 in 10 people (39 per cent) are not aware making a partner account for all their spending can constitute domestic abuse; more than half (55 per cent) do not recognise taking out a loan in a victim’s name without them knowing as a form of abuse.

Unequal, trapped and controlled: women’s experiences of financial abuse (March 2015)
Women’s Aid and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) published research on women’s experiences of financial abuse and the potential implications for Universal Credit. Five recommendations are contained within the report:

Survivors and agencies identifying and responding to abuse: Statutory agencies such as local authorities to be trained in coercive control and routinely carry out safe inquiry with women and appropriate signposting to specialist services.

Banks dealing with abuse more effectively: Flag accounts where abuse is known, training and policy, work in partnership with specialist domestic violence services to develop specialist expertise in handling situations of coercive control.

Changes to the delivery of Universal Credit to reduce the risk of further opportunities for financial abuse: Survivors recommended that Universal Credit housing elements should be paid direct to the landlord or lender to ensure they had a roof over their heads. 60% also agreed that Universal Credit claims from families should be paid to the mother.

Benefits and child maintenance systems supporting survivors: Waive restrictions on benefit rules restricting entitlement to EEA nationals and returning British nationals for claims made by survivors fleeing domestic violence; and ensure women and children have safe child maintenance arrangements in place by fast-tracking domestic violence survivors to the Child Maintenance Collection system (without having to meet other requirements) and dropping all charges for use.

Further data collection to identify more detail about this form of abuse, so that interventions can take place sooner and more effectively.

Controlling Money, Controlling Lives (November 2014)
A new report published by Citizens Advice called ‘Controlling Money, Controlling Lives’ seeks to highlight how financial abuse is often accompanied by other forms of domestic abuse, such as physical violence.  The report was based on a survey of advisers and reports from people who sought Citizens Advice’s help about financial abuse. Of the advisers who had helped someone with financial abuse:

Almost three-quarters had reported someone forced by their abuser to take out credit, such as a payday loan.

43 per cent had seen cases of the abuser stealing from the victim.

Over half had reported perpetrators controlling access to the victim’s income, banking or savings.

77 per cent reported victims being left to pay joint bills alone, including council tax and fuel debt.

The report finds that most financial abuse cases Citizens Advice helps with involve current or former partners of victims. Nine in ten victims of financial abuse who came to Citizens Advice for help were women. Financial institutions often fail to acknowledge financial abuse when it is reported and by ignoring it make the situation more difficult for victims. The charity is calling for Government departments, local authorities, banks and creditors to be more aware of financial abuse and have better guidance for staff to help victims.

SOS Campaign Success (November 2014)
The Department for Communities and Local Government has announced a £10 million national fund to protect the national network of specialist refuges. This £10 million fund will provide a life-line for many refuges at risk of closure and should help ensure high quality specialist services can continue their life-saving work. Women’s Aid welcomed this commitment made off the back of the SOS Save Refuges, Save Lives campaign.

Women's Aid launches the Save Our Services (SOS) Campaign (September 2014)
Women's Aid has launched its SOS campaign: save refuges, save lives. The campaign is highlighting the crisis that is facing the national network of refuges. The number of specialist refuges in England has decreased from 187 in 2010 to 155 in July 2014 and, according to Council of Europe recommendations there is a 32 per cent shortfall of bed spaces. The campaign calls for the Government to commit to preserving the national network and to explore a new model of funding and commissioning which supports a sustainable service and high quality care.

Launch of the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (September 2014)
The Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) was launched on 1 September 2014 and is a partnership between Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, Peabody and Gentoo. The mission of the Alliance is to improve the housing sector's response to domestic abuse through the introduction and adoption of an established set of service standards. These bring together best practice in responding to domestic abuse in the housing sector and are divided into 8 priority areas: policy and procedures; case management, monitoring and evaluation; risk management; inclusivity and accessibility; holding perpetrators accountable (support, enforcement and prevention); partnership working; training; and publicity and awareness.

Relationship Problems and Money: Women talk about financial abuse (August 2014)
This report, published by WIRE Women’s Information in Victoria, Australia explores the nature and impact of financial abuse in the context of family violence on the women and children who experience it. It finds that financial abuse continues long after women leave the relationship, as former partners use the legal, child support and income support systems to cause on-going economic hardship and psychological distress. Also published by the centre is a new information booklet which aims to provide women with information to help them understand financial abuse and gives practical tips on dealing with this often invisible abuse.

Strengthening the Law on Domestic Abuse - government consultation (August 2014)

The Home Office has launched a consultation seeking views on whether the current law on domestic abuse needs to be strengthened to offer better protection to victims. It is specifically focused on whether to create a specific offence that captures patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate relationships in line with the government's non-statutory definition of domestic abuse. SEA will be responding to this consultation highlighting economic abuse within coercive control.

Domestic violence and the workplace - new TUC report (August 2014)
In 2013 the Trades Union Congress conducted a survey to find out more about how domestic violence affects working lives and the role that employers, colleagues and union reps can play in supporting those experiencing it. The TUC survey was open to anyone who had either experience of domestic violence themselves or a friend/colleague who have. The report findings were published in August 2014.

Strengthening the Law on Domestic Abuse - Government Consultation (August 2014)

In August 2014, the Home Office launched a consultation seeking views on whether the current law on domestic abuse needs to be strengthened to offer better protection to victims. It is specifically focused on whether to create a specific offence that captures patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate relationships in line with the Government's non-statutory definition of domestic abuse. SEA will be responding to this consultation highlighting economic abuse as a tactic of coercive control.

Counting Dead Women (July 2014)
Karen Ingala Smith started counting dead women in 2012 following seven domestic violence homicides in the first three days of January alone. SEA notes cases which illustrate economic abuse - whether that be a woman killed in the workplace or details of financial abuse.

18 Feb 2014: Hollie Gazzard, 20, was stabbed to death whilst at work. Friends and family took part in a charity walk to raise funds for a trust fund to sponsor a young hairdresser each year in her memory.

19 March 2014: Naudel Turner, 42, was stabbed to death close to where she worked as a nurse.

11 April 2014: Judith Nibbs, 60, was decapitated. She cared for Hackney's elderly residents for 6 years by providing 'meals on wheels'. A colleague left flowers and a message outside her flat. A corporate director at the council said they were 'shocked and saddened'.

15 April 2014: Angela Smeaton, 50, was stabbed. Staff in the fish and chip shop she owned gathered there to hear the news.

10 May 2014: Hayley Stringer, 29, was stabbed to death after she started a relationship with someone she met at work.

18 May 2014: Emma Mansell, 37, was stabbed to death. Among the many tributes was one from the head teacher of the school where she worked with young people with special needs.

18 July 2014: Bei Carter, 49, was stabbed and died from a single wound to the chest. Her death had a 'huge effect' on the community of guest house owners to which she belonged.

Finding the Costs of Freedom (May 2014)
A three year research project between the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) at London Metropolitan University and Solace Women's Aid followed 100 women and their children to explore how they rebuilt their lives after domestic violence. Women experienced economic abuse when in a relationship with the abuser and after leaving. Access to housing, employment and economic resources were all barriers in moving on.

Justice Select Committee Inquiry: Impact of Changes to Civil Legal Aid (April 2014)
Following its decision to undertake a review of Legal Aid in England and Wales in May 2010, the Ministry of Justice has delivered significant reform through the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act (2012). The Justice Select Committee undertook a short inquiry into the Government’s proposals to reform Legal Aid when they were at the consultation stage, in the winter of 2010–11. In its report published in March 2011 the Committee raised a number concerns. In April 2014, the Committee launched another Inquiry – this time into the impact of the LASPO changes to Civil Legal Aid. As noted in the APPG Inquiry report, women’s organisations such as Rights for Women and Women’s Aid report that these changes have resulted in lack of access to the Legal Aid that women survivors of domestic violence are entitled to; thereby severely restricting women’s access to justice and potentially forcing them to stay in an unsafe relationship.

Women’s Access to Justice: From Reporting to Sentencing (March 2014)
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Domestic and Sexual Violence launched an Inquiry into women’s ability to access justice around domestic violence and, in particular, violence in intimate partner relationships in October 2013. In addition to calling for written evidence, two oral evidence sessions took place in November 2013.

“I have been unable to walk or work for 10 months since my husband beat me up, putting my home and business at risk and putting me under severe added pressure” (written evidence, survivor).

An inquiry report alongside recommendations was published in 2014. Issues linked to economic abuse and well-being were raised at several points within the report:

One barrier to reporting to the police is fear of the financial implications if the relationship ends or the perpetrator is put in prison.

Risk assessments must contextualise an incident of domestic violence within a situation of domestic violence which may also have elements of psychological, financial and sexual abuse.

Respondents reported incidents where perpetrators would go on to cause greater harm by damaging the survivors’ property after being given a caution and the police leaving the property. Relevant evidence may not be collected in a timely way; for example photos will not be taken of property damage.

Lack of access to vital Legal Aid that women survivors of domestic violence are entitled to is severely restricting women’s access to justice and potentially forcing them to stay in an unsafe relationship.

17% of respondents to a survey by Rights of Women (April 2013) had to pay over £50 to obtain copies of the required evidence for Legal Aid (one of the report recommendations is that: there should be no charge for women to access the evidence needed for Legal Aid purposes).

Everyone’s Business: Improving the Police Response to Domestic Abuse (March 2014)
In September 2013, the Home Secretary commissioned Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to conduct an inspection into the police response to domestic abuse. One of the issues raised within the inspection report published in March 2014 is that police officers can be both victims and perpetrators of abuse. As such it is highlighted that all forces should have consistent and robust workplace disciplinary policies to deal with those police officers who are perpetrators. In addition, forces should support officers who are victims themselves.

Call to End Violence against Women and Girls: Action Plan 2014 (March 2014)
The third review of the VAWG action plan was published in March 2014. It states that it is critical to ensure that women are empowered to realise their full potential at home, in education and at work where employers can also play a real role in supporting women experiencing domestic abuse.

Indeed the goal of ensuring that the workplace is somewhere where women can receive support and assistance is reiterated from the 2012 action plan. It is reported that, alongside the Department of Health, the Home Office, HMRC, the Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service, Public Health England and NHS England have signed the Pledge committing their organisations to having a comprehensive policy to support staff experiencing domestic violence as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal.

The action plan goes on to talk about the Government taking strong action to support women’s economic empowerment and to address the barriers faced by women in the labour market and in business. Reference is made to structural changes to ensure workplaces match the needs of women in modern Britain, including extending the right to flexible working to all, increasing child tax credits for low-income families, extending the free entitlement to early education and working with business to increase the number of women on corporate boards.

The Government further reports on acting to encourage more women to start their own businesses through mentoring, financial help and cutting red tape. Gender equality is to be promoted at work via ‘Think, Act, Report’ which asks private and voluntary sector employers to make things fairer for women at work through greater transparency on pay and other workplace issues. New actions included:

Develop a toolkit of resources to support businesses to raise awareness of domestic violence during the 16 days of global action to end gender based violence (9).

Produce an online guide for parents to help them support their teenage daughters through school subject, qualification and career choices. The pack will provide guidance around challenging gender expectations (38).

Revise statutory guidance to schools on careers, working with key stakeholders to develop the National Careers Service to inspire young people in their career choices and raising awareness of the opportunities studying science, technology, engineering and mathematical subject offers (40).

Deliver a number of events across the UK for local Jobcentre Plus domestic violence champions (of which there are 245) to raise awareness of DWP domestic violence policies (56).

Destitution Domestic Violence Concession – Women’s Sector Report (December, 2013)

Alongside government research on the DDV Concession, Eaves and Southall Black Sisters have published the findings of a one year monitoring project on the implementation of the Destitution Domestic Violence (DDV) Concession scheme. It sets out: how the scheme is being implemented when women regularise their immigration status; how the scheme is being implemented when women try to access financial support and benefits; and what support needs women and the organisations supporting them have when using the scheme. Finally, informed by the findings of the monitoring, practical recommendations for future policy and practice are provided.

Domestic Violence Homicide Reviews: Common Themes Identified (November 2013)
In 2011 the Government implemented section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004) meaning that local areas are expected to undertake a multi-agency review following a domestic homicide. Published in 2013, this paper sets out the most common themes that were identified as lessons to be learned from 54 completed reports. It highlights that there appear to be gaps in awareness and understanding of what constitutes domestic violence and abuse. There are examples where financial abuse is not recognised as a form of domestic violence.

Implementation of the JSA DV Easement and DDV Concession (June 2013)
Three months after committing to undertake research in order to understand how the Destitute Domestic Violence (DDV) Concession and Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) Domestic Violence Easement are operating (VAWG action plan – 44) DWP published the findings of a small scale research study. Latest available data showed 338 cases of the 4 week easement and 115 cases of the full 13 week easement between April 2012 and March 2013. Since its introduction in April 2012, around 50 applications a month are being made under the DDV Concession. Issues affecting implementation alongside good practice identified are presented within the research report.

Call to End Violence against Women and Girls: Action Plan 2013 (March 2013)
The updated action plan sitting under the VAWG strategy was revealed in March 2013 setting out a renewed focus on coordinating Government activity. In addition to the on-going actions around employers, SEA welcomed an action to undertake research in order to understand how the Destitute Domestic Violence (DDV) Concession and Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) Domestic Violence Easement are operating, with a commitment to build on the outcomes ahead of Universal Credit Implementation (44).

Guidance for Professionals Supporting Survivors with Financial Issues (2012)
The 'Domestic Abuse and Money Education: Guidance for Professionals Supporting Survivors with Financial Issues' has been developed out of the Domestic Abuse, Money and Education project (DAME), a three year project undertaken by Women’s Aid Federation of England (Women’s Aid) and Money Advice Plus Services (MAPS) working in partnership, and funded by the Nationwide Foundation. The guidance aims to provide a step by step guide on how to assist survivors with financial issues and debt. It is not intended as a substitute for professional money and debt advice, but provides a general overview of the issues.

Financial abuse a 'Significant Factor' in Child Contact/Post Separation Abuse (2012)
A NPSCC report on Domestic Violence, Child Contact and Post-Separation Violence by Ravi Thiara and Aisha Gill notes that financial abuse as a 'significant factor' for South-Asian and African-Caribbean women and children. It also identifies financial challenges post-separation.

Cross-Government Definition of Domestic Violence (September 2012)
The Government published a summary of responses to the cross-government definition of domestic violence consultation in September 2012. Like SEA, 85 per cent of respondents thought coercive control should be included in the definition. In addition, the same percentage of respondents agreed that it should be extended to include 16 and 17 year olds. It was clear that a single consistent definition was welcomed across Government departments and agencies.

Deferral of Job Seeking Activity for Victims of Domestic Violence (April 2012)
In line with the VAWG action plan launched in March 2011, DWP introduced a specific easement for job seeking conditions from JSA claimants who are victims of actual or threatened domestic violence on 23 April 2012 (33). This means an exemption from job-seeking conditions and requirements to be actively looking for employment for an initial four week period providing certain conditions are met, which can extend to a total of 13 weeks where relevant evidence is provided. This period is intended to provide those affected by domestic violence to focus on priorities like organising new accommodation without having to also focus on meeting their job seeking conditions.

The Destitution Domestic Violence (DDV) Concession (April 2012)
Migrant spouses who are victims of domestic violence may benefit from a provision in the Immigration Rules which allows them to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK even though their marriage has broken down. However, if destitute, they have – until now – been unable to access benefits while their case is considered by the UK Border Agency. This made access to domestic violence refuges problematic.
A pilot project (Sojourner) to address this issue was initiated by the Labour Government and ran from December 2009. Up until the end of December 2011 it had taken a total of 1,841 referrals. The new Coalition Government announced in March 2011 that from April 2012 migrant spouses fleeing domestic violence would be given access to benefits while their indefinite leave to remain claim is being considered (40). Thus, on 1 April 2012, women became eligible to access DWP income-related benefits for up to 10 weeks while they make an application for long term leave to remain in the UK.
Call to End Violence against Women and Girls: The Next Chapter (March 2012)
Published in March 2012, the updated action plan provides an update of completed actions, progress on outstanding actions and new actions. SEA welcomed new actions under the preventing violence principle to ‘work with employers to improve awareness and outcomes for VAWG victims’ banner. These include:

Work with business to tackle violence against women in the workplace, including developing and publishing a pledge with explanatory guidance for all employers to sign as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal in order to commit them to develop a comprehensive policy to support all members of staff experiencing domestic abuse (48 – on-going to 2015).

Raise awareness in the Department of Health to ensure staff has an understanding of VAWG and where to seek help and support. Engage with other Government Departments to encourage similar activity for staff across the Civil Service (49 – on-going to 2015).

Cross-Government Definition of Domestic Violence: A Consultation (December 2011)
A commitment to consider changing the cross-Governmental definition of domestic violence was made within the VAWG action plan (77). This followed a recommendation from the Home Affairs Select Committee Report in 2008. A consultation to this end was launched in December 2011. Four options were put forward: definition remains the same; is amended to include coercive control; is extended to all 16 and 17 year olds; is extended to all those under 18. SEA advocated for the definition to include coercive control so that professionals are better able to recognise the use of power and control within domestic violence, including economic coercion.

Call to End VAWG: Action Plan Progress Review (November 2011)
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) 2011, the Government published an action plan progress review. SEA was pleased to note that a draft training module for healthcare professionals involved in carrying out Work Capability Assessments for victims of VAWG had been delivered (32). It was also good news to learn that agreement for a long term funding solution to replace the Sojourner has been reached with DWP (40). However it was disappointing to hear that implementation of an automatic 13 week deferral of job seeking activity for victims of domestic violence within the Provisions of the Welfare Reform Act (2009) had been put back to March 2012 (33).

Guidance for Domestic Violence Homicide Reviews (April 2011)
As part of the VAWG action plan published in March 2011, the Government committed to implement section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004) putting in place statutory domestic violence homicide reviews (75). The provision came into force in April 2011. In recognising that many people and agencies may have known about the abuse experienced by a homicide victim, multi-agency guidance is accompanied by information leaflets for family and friends as well as employers and colleagues.
Call to End Violence against Women and Girls: Action Plan (March 2011)
The action plan which sits under the VAWG strategy was launched in March 2011 and sets out a number of commitments, including three to address the negative economic impact of domestic violence. These include:
Introduce VAWG training for health professionals who carry out Work Capability Assessments in order to improve their understanding of the issues involved. This will help ensure that victims of VAWG are seen by trained medical assessors (32).

Introduce an automatic 13 week deferral of job seeking activity for victims of domestic violence within the Provisions of the Welfare Reform Act (2009) allowing them to get into a stable situation before seeking work (33).

Build on learning from the Sojourner Project to identity an effective and sustainable solution to support women and their children who come to the United Kingdom on a spousal visa and are forced to flee that relationship as a direct result of proven domestic violence yet have no recourse to public funds (40).

Call to End Violence against Women and Girls: A Strategy (November 2010)
On 25 November 2010, Theresa May (Minister for Women) launched the Coalition Government's strategic narrative Call to End Violence against Women and Girls in order to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Four guiding principles underpin the strategy: prevention of violence; provision of services; partnership working; and protection through justice outcomes and risk reduction.

Within the strategy document, the Government recognises the negative economic impact that violence has on the lives of women and girls:

VAWG internationally stops women contributing to society and benefiting fully from health, education, economic opportunities and other services due to physical suffering or fear of being attacked.

The lost economic output of women affected by VAWG runs to billions of pounds.

Victims of domestic violence should have financial support when an abusive relationship ends.

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