The impact of the cost-of-living increase upon domestic abuse

 

Domestic abuse can occur in many forms, with victims often not realising this is something they are experiencing. Anybody can be a victim of abuse, in a number of ways or simply one way, and at any time. Due to the varying ways, there are millions of people living through abuse right now.

Coercive control: this is usually a pattern of behaviour, or a single act intended to control the actions of somebody through intimidation, humiliation, threat, or guilt.

Psychological/emotional abuse: this is the use of emotion to manipulate, blame, embarrass or criticise the actions of somebody.

Physical abuse: this is the use of physical violence, often performed in anger.

Sexual abuse: this is a forced act of sexual activity with or upon somebody. This does not have to be penetrative and can often occur in conjunction with other acts of abuse.

Financial/economic abuse: this is the restriction, withholding or manipulation of the finances of somebody.

Online/digital abuse: this relates to any action of bullying, harassment, stalking, intimidation performed against another person online.

Individuals usually realise they are the victim of domestic abuse once violence becomes commonplace. However, violence may never play a part, and this is something we see more often, as individuals become wiser to the system, cleverer in their actions and use other avenues for abuse. In March 2020 there were 24,856 offences of coercive control reported to the police. This is an offence which is becoming ever more prevalent and one which is likely to increase as individuals lose their grip on their lives, over the coming months and during the current economic climate.

Women’s Aid have recently undertaken a study (The cost of living - Women’s Aid (womensaid.org.uk)) which looks at the negative impact on the lives of individuals, since the cost of living increased. 73% of the individuals involved in the study explained that the increase had either prevented them from leaving or made it harder to do so. 

Individuals who are already experiencing financial/economic control will face even further barriers when they try to ‘leave, recover and rebuild their lives after abuse.’

  • Victims experiencing domestic abuse are worried about being able to pay for essentials

  • Economic abuse creates an uneven financial playing field and adds to the pressures a survivor will face

  • Abusers are already using the cost-of-living crisis as a tool for abuse

  • The crisis is further isolating survivors

  • The cost of living is preventing victims from fleeing

  • Support services are there for survivors but also feel the impact of cost-of-living increases

The fact that some individuals are having to remain with their abuser, is due to the fear they have of ‘not being able to provide for themselves/their children,’ ‘not having finances,’ ‘not being able to afford to pay for bills.’

We are now within the winter months, which will have an even greater impact on the abuse suffered by individuals. If you or somebody you know is a victim of domestic abuse, our Family team can help. Please call 01724 281616 (Scunthorpe) or 01405 763853 (Goole) or email your enquiry to info@sbblaw.com and we will be happy to help.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.