Latest News

  • New regulations on housing benefit for refuge residents

    As flagged up in WWA's newsletters, changes to Housing Benefit rules for refuge residents (previously defined as 'exempt accommodation') have now been published.

    They include a broader definition that should include most refuge services. This is good news and represents the results of more than eighteen months work for Welsh Women's Aid and its members which has included liaison with other supported housing stakeholders, letters and meetings with the Department for Work and Pensions, and written evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

  • Legal Aid Update: Evidence Gateway Widened for victims of Domestic Abuse

    Back in 2013 changes to family law legal aid meant that many people were no longer able to access legal help, although victims of domestic violence were still allowed access through the 'Domestic Violence Gateway' which allowed a limited number of limited types of 'evidence'.
    Welsh Women's Aid and Women's Aid Federation England teamed up with Rights of Women to campaign for the Ministry of Justice to campaign for a widening of these evidence types, which evidence from our members showed was acting as a barrier for many women trying to flee domestic abuse.

    As of the 22nd of April 2014 the Ministry of Justice has announced that new evidence that will be accepted for women affected by violence to access legal aid, including evidence of police bail for a domestic violence offence, a Domestic Violence Protection Order, evidence of referral to domestic violence support services from a health professional and evidence of not being able to access refuge accommodation.

  • UN Special Rapporteur for VAW visits Wales

    WWA is honoured to be hosting a meeting between the VAW third sector in Wales and the visiting UN Special Rapporteur for VAW, Rashida Manjoo, who is visiting the UK on an official mission this month.

    If you would like to take part in the meeting, which is being held on the 10th of April 2pm at WWA's offices, please email TinaReece@welshwomensaid.org.uk

  • WWA response to HMIC report on domestic abuse

    Although much of it makes for stark and concerning reading, Welsh Women's Aid welcomes today's report released by HMIC 'Everyone's Business: Improving the Police Response to Domestic Abuse'.

    For many years Welsh Women's Aid have remained concerned by some Police responses to domestic abuse, which has often been treated as a second class crime. This situation has eroded victim confidence and led to very real issues of safety for women and children escaping abuse.

  • Launch of ‘Domestic Violence Protection Notices/Orders’ (DVPOs) and the ‘Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme’ (DVDS/Clare’s Law)

    National rollout from March 2014

    As part of an attempt to better protect victims of domestic abuse, the Police will be implementing these two new policies as of next month. WWA cautiously welcomes these two new tools for dealing with DA/V, but urges extreme care be taken in regards to whether these options are always the safest or most appropriate options. WWA instead urges renewed focus on the foundations of strong and sensitive basic Police responses to DA/V, alongside information sharing and partnership working with specialist organisations such as WWA.

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The average age of women experiencing financial abuse was 20.

YWCA Research, 2008.

Financial abuse occurs between two adults where there is financial co-dependency.

 

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse can take many forms, from denying you all access to funds, to making you solely responsible for all finances while handling money irresponsibly himself. Money becomes a tool by which the abuser can further control the victim, ensuring either her financial dependence on him, or shifting the responsibility of keeping a roof over the family's head onto the victim while simultaneously denying your ability to do so or obstructing you.

Financial abuse can include the following:

·       preventing you from getting or keeping a job

·        denying you sufficient housekeeping

·        having to account for every penny spent

·        denying access to cheque book/account/finances

·        putting all bills in your name

·        threatening to force you out of the house and make you homeless and destitute

·        withholding information about welfare benefits

·        demanding your paychecks

·        spending the money allocated to bills/groceries on himself

·        forcing you to beg or commit crimes for money

·        spending Child Benefit on himself

·        not permitting you to spend available funds on yourself or children

·        making you give up your savings

·        not working themselves but forcing you to work to pay for everything

Financial abuse can have serious and long term effects on women and children experiencing it. Women and children can become trapped in a cycle of poverty, they can experience physical and psychological ill health, isolation and feeling that they can’t escape from the abusive relationship.

For more information about financial abuse, please visit the YWCA website

Download the Home Office leaflet ‘Domestic violence – financial control, emotional abuse’ (leaflet) or visit the Home Office website

If you are experiencing financial abuse, or domestic abuse of any kind, contact the Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.