Your vote can help victims of domestic abuse to rebuild their lives

We’ve recently taken part in a bid to win just over £33,000 to help deliver money advice services to male and female victims of domestic abuse, and we need your help to win.

For the competition, to be awarded funds from NatWest from their Skills and Opportunties Fund, ACT have bid to provide financial capability workshops and sessions to around 200 victims of domestic abuse, giving them confidence and knowledge to rebuild their lives and move forward.

Victims of domestic abuse, particulary those fleeing violence whilst having to protect their families, are in a very vulnerable situation: our experience shows that many victims are unaware of the financial situation that the perpetrator has left them in – we encounter mortgages and loans being taken out in the victim’s name and debt transferred to the victim without their knowledge or with no understanding of the consequences. Working with victims of domestic abuse who may be male or female, ACT will help them to understand their finances and the financial situation the perpetrator has created – taking control, often for the first time, developing their money management skills, we will help them to rebuild their lives and their children’s lives, free from abuse.

Currently we deliver our financial capability services on an outreach basis but the new funding will allow us to expand and work within domestic abuse refuges and other places of safety, and will allow us to incorporate it within other victim programmes. A broad menu of money advice options will be tailored to individuals, families and settings and the funds will allow us to:

  • improve the prospects of more beneficiaries and their children
  • explore new ways of working
  • develop stronger partnerships between agencies/services and provide professionals, such as those working in refuges to improve their knowledge of financial capability and their understanding of the impact of financial abuse
  • build our evidence and impact base
  • highlight awareness of financial abuse
  • provide robust evidence for the incorporation of financial capability support into public sector services

We are very aware that money advice and support is needed in our area; during 2016/7 we worked with around 1500 victims of abuse, and their dependents – 90% of these people required timely access to flexibile and responsive money advice services. Of the 35 agencies with whom we work closely in the area of domestic abuse, 100% have expressed support for financial capability services.

We were fortunate to be selected by the National Money Advice Service’s What Works Fund to deliver an innovative evaluation of our money advice service. We commissioned the University of Suffolk to evaluate the effectiveness of our money advice service delivery model for survivors of domestic abuse in Suffolk and the emerging findings (finalised report to be publicised in April), show that our model elicited a statistically significant improvement in the financial confidence and knowledge of victims. Read more about the research here: http://blog.fincap.org.uk/2018/03/14/bridging-the-evidence-gap-financial-capability-and-domestic-abuse/

Each of the charities applying for funding are now dependent upon a public vote to decide where the money is awarded. To vote for ACT, visit: http://skillsandopportunitiesfund.natwest.com/vote and vote for us in the Midlands and East area.