The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

The Impact of the Cost of Living Crisis for Survivors of Abuse – How Can Employers Help?

The Impact of the Cost of Living Crisis for Survivors of Abuse – How Can Employers Help?
23 November 2022

Ayesha from The Employers' Initiative on Domestic Abuse outlines how employers can provide extra support to those at risk of experiencing domestic abuse during the cost of living crisis.

Ayesha Fordham is the Membership and Partnerships Manager at the Employers' Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA). She supports and connects employers to take action on domestic abuse while working closely with other services in the domestic abuse sector. She was formerly a Domestic Abuse, Vulnerability and Risk Policy Officer at the City of London Corporation and Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) also within the City of London.


Picture: a photograph of Ayesha. Image Credit: EIDA


The Cost of Leaving an Abuser

While the cost-of-living crisis is challenging for everyone, it is having destructive consequences for people experiencing domestic abuse.

The charity Surviving Economic Abuse has described how abusers can take advantage of the current crisis to force victims to pay more, push them into (more) debt or force them to live in poverty. Economic abuse is one of a number of different forms that abuse can take and involves the control of access to money, resources or employment.
The cost-of-living crisis also increases the cost of leaving an abuser and living on a single income. A survivor who has children to support they may fear that they will be unable to support their family if they leave. Some frontline workers at Refuge have even said that survivors have returned to perpetrators because they cannot afford to live alone or as a single parent.
In a survey carried out by Women’s Aid, 50 per cent of survivors said that they were prevented from fleeing due to the reality of not being able to support their children and 73 per cent said that the cost-of-living crisis had either prevented or made it harder for them to leave. The charity Hestia has also reported a 30 per cent increase in demand for domestic abuse refuge as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for employers to ensure they are aware of the signs of domestic abuse and know how to keep staff safe if a disclosure of abuse is made. We recommend that employers:


  • Become a member of EIDA today – it’s free and members get access to lots of resources as well as a 1,000-strong community of organisations changing the workplace culture on domestic abuse.
  • Consider your organisation’s domestic abuse policy or guidance in light of the cost-of-living crisis. Some EIDA members offer a period of leave with paid accommodation and/or special paid leave for childcare.
  • Be ready to signpost individuals affected by domestic abuse who are concerned about the financial impact of leaving an abuser to organisations who might be able to help. For example, Surviving Economic Abuse has put together a useful list of sources of financial support here


Employers can make a huge difference in easing the financial burden, supporting an employee to leave their abuser and potentially saving their life.
Find out more:

Picture: a photograph of a person holding an empty wallet. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ayesha Fordham | Published 23 November 2022


Related Tags

Related Articles

Mitie Becomes Beacon Member of The Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse

FM services outsourcing company Mitie has been named the first EIDA Beacon member in the facilities management sector.  Mitie joins a group of 14 UK...

 Read Full Article
Anti-Slavery Day – Signs of Exploitation All Employers Should Know

For Anti-Slavery Day, which takes place on 18 October 2023, CHAS is reminding businesses to stay vigilant about modern slavery and watch out for signs of exploitation in...

 Read Full Article
MRI Software Launches Tool to Address Anti-Social Behaviour in Social Housing

A cloud-based reporting tool that will allow social housing teams to report, manage and monitor cases of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse has been launched by MRI...

 Read Full Article
The Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse to Speak at The Cleaning Show

Ayesha Fordham, Membership and Partnerships Manager at the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse and Natalie Curtis, Regional HSE Advisor at Balfour Beatty will...

 Read Full Article
Pareto Signs Up to 7 New Social Value Initiatives

Workspace services provider Pareto FM has signed seven new pledges, including the Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant and the Armed Forces Covenant. Rachel McEntee,...

 Read Full Article
Churchill Signs Care Leavers Covenant and Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant  

Churchill Services has signed the Care Leavers Covenant and the Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant. The CLC and EDAC are two of three covenants introduced by the UK...

 Read Full Article
Maintenance in Women’s Refuges – A Call for Female Contractors

Stephanie Rampton, who owns a fire risk assessment company, is creating a database of female FM contractors to work on maintenance jobs in women’s refuges. After...

 Read Full Article
British Cleaning Council Joins Domestic Abuse Prevention Initiative

The British Cleaning Council is now a member of the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse and is encouraging other cleaning and hygiene employers to sign up. The...

 Read Full Article
Symposium Launches to Encourage Domestic Abuse Awareness in the Workplace

Headed up by FM consultant and domestic abuse campaigner Fiona Bowman, a Survivors Symposium to help break the cycle of abuse through awareness, prevention and early...

 Read Full Article