The Cost of Living Crisis and its impact on Women who experience domestic abuse

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2023 National Women's Conference
14 October 2022

Conference notes that Domestic Abuse is a workplace issue, with 1 in 3 women reporting domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime.

Conference further notes a sharp increase in reported cases of domestic abuse throughout the pandemic. The cost of living crisis now means that the situation has deteriorated even further. It had previously been estimated that more than 90% of women facing domestic abuse reported that they were subject to economic abuse with spending controlled by their abuser.

Women’s Aid conducted research with 66% of survivors telling them that abusers were using the cost of living crisis and concerns about financial hardship as a tool for coercive control, including to justify further restricting their access to money. For almost three quarters of these women, this meant that they were either prevented from leaving or faced increased barriers to leaving. The cost of living crisis has made it even harder for women to go on to build new lives.

Conference is concerned that at a time when women are facing escalating abuse, barriers to accessing support are increasing. Service providers are not immune to the sharp increase in costs with some services relying on reserves to survive. This isn’t sustainable in the long term and more must be done to ensure that they are funded on a sustainable basis. Conference is further concerned that the planned help for energy bill payers will not apply to women living in a refuge where the refuge uses a bulk energy contract.

Conference calls on the National Women’s Committee to campaign for the introduction of:

• an Emergency domestic Abuse fund to support survivors of domestic abuse to pay for essential items and energy bills

• a statutory right to paid leave for those experiencing domestic abuse