The cost-of-living crisis has had a big impact on those experiencing domestic abuse, adding greater barriers for those considering leaving their relationship. The UK Banking firm TSB has announced a new “flee fund” designed to support those experiencing domestic abuse to leave safely, whilst providing them with money to support themselves to do so.
This is a fantastic initiative which will help many survivors to access support and hopefully encourage other banks to follow their lead.
TSB’s Emergency Fund
From December 2022, TSB is offering eligible victims of domestic abuse an ‘Emergency flee fund’ payment of up to £500 to help escape an abusive relationship.
This fund will only be available to customers with TSB, but we hope that other banks will be inspired to launch similar schemes supporting customers experiencing domestic abuse.
The money is designed to help survivors to afford essentials such as travel, clothing and toiletries – especially as many will leave with very few clothes or personal belongings.
TSB created the scheme in response to calls from the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to tackle the national emergency for domestic abuse victims, particularly in light of the cost-of-living crisis.
Other banks have not, at the time of writing, replicated TSB’s scheme. However, a number of them have measures in place to support customers experiencing domestic abuse.
The support available ranges from safe spaces, where customers can use private space in the bank to contact support services, to helping survivors to open separate joint accounts.
All ATM receipts at Lloyds Bank also contain information on how to access support for victims of domestic abuse and financial abuse.
The consumer champion Which? has produced a useful table that highlights what the major UK banks are doing to support customers. It also has more information about some of the things offered by banks.
It is encouraging to see banks stepping up and putting measures in place to support customers experiencing domestic abuse, especially with the mounting pressures and barriers that the cost-of-living crisis has presented for many survivors.
We have regularly used our blog to highlight the cost-of-living crisis and the impact that it is having on those experiencing domestic abuse. It is an issue that is affecting many people across the country and is expected to become even more pronounced now the winter months are here and costs increase.
Women’s Aid reported that three quarters of women surveyed felt that the rising cost-of-living had either prevented them from leaving or made it harder for them to do so. Staying with a perpetrator increases the risk that women will suffer serious harm and can make it harder to leave in the future.
These statistics emphasise the importance of schemes such as TSB’s and also of raising awareness of the support that is available for those experiencing domestic abuse at this challenging time.
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Title image credit: Ben L Molyneux