Refuge’s My Money, My Life campaign features on BBC Radio 4 Moneybox

22nd June 2016

MMML front coverRefuge has today spoken about its My Money, My Life campaign – which draws attention to financial abuse in intimate partner relationships – on BBC Radio 4’s Moneybox.

The campaign, which was launched in December 2015 in partnership with The Co-operative Bank, reveals that one in five adults in the UK have experienced financial abuse in an intimate relationship. It shines a spotlight on this often overlooked form of domestic abuse and calls for industry-wide agreement to support people who experience financial abuse in their relationships.

Refuge and The Co-operative Bank joined forces to carry out the UK’s largest study to date to uncover the true scale of financial abuse within intimate partner relationships. Our campaign also includes research led by academic Nicola Sharp-Jeffs at the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU), London Metropolitan University. The research found that:

  • 18 per cent of all adults in the UK have been a victim of financial abuse
  • Victims span gender, age and income groups; however, 60 per cent of all cases are reported by women
  • Financial abuse in relationships against women also lasts for a longer period of time compared to men, with 78 per cent of women saying their abuse went on over five years compared to 23 per cent of men
  • For women, financial abuse rarely happens in isolation – 86 per cent experience other forms of abuse
  • A third of financial abuse victims suffer in silence, telling no-one

Based on this research the “My money, my life” campaign informs those experiencing financial abuse about their rights and empowers them to make positive choices about their own financial future. Refuge has produced a financial guide as a support resource for women who have experienced financial abuse and will be working with The Co-operative Bank to drive change across the banking sector.

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is a way of controlling a person’s ability to acquire, use and maintain their own money and resources.

Financial abuse can take many forms. Abusers may prevent you from earning or accessing your own money; spend or take your money without your consent; build up debts in your name; damage your possessions or property. If you are separated and have children, the abuser might withhold child maintenance payments.

If you are worried you might be experiencing financial abuse, we can support you.

If you would like more information about the campaign, please email press@refuge.org.uk