Employer Awareness: Understanding Economic Abuse

2019 has seen the introduction of the new draft Domestic Abuse Bill and with its inclusion in the Queens Speech this year, has now received its second hearing to pass through parliament. As part of the new Bill, Economic Abuse will be included within the legal definition.

What is Economic Abuse and why is it different to Financial Abuse?
The legal definition of Economic Abuse as described by the Home Office is: economic abuse involves behaviours that interfere with an individual’s ability to acquire, use and maintain economic resources such as money, transportation and utilities.” Economic abuse has a much broader and often longer-term financial impact on a victim of abuse, often for many years after leaving the relationship.

The largest study of economical abuse to date has been carried out by Sharp-Jeffs with the Co-operative Bank and Refuge which found

  • One in five people in the UK have experienced financial abuse in an intimate relationship
  • 60% of all cases are reported by women
  • 78% of women saying their abuse went on over five years compared to 23% of men
  • For women, financial abuse rarely happens in isolation – 86% experience other forms of abuse
  • A third of financial abuse victims suffer in silence, telling no-one

Financial abuse includes a perpetrator taking control of bank accounts and ensuring their partner has no access, giving their partner just a small token amount of money each week for housekeeping, children’s clothes, toiletries etc. but never enough to fully cover these expenses. The perpetrator will often display double standards by going out and socialising regularly and embark on lavish spending sprees (on themselves), neglecting the family’s needs whilst doing so.  Economic abuse goes much further than this, such as taking out loans, mortgages, household bills in their partner’s name, making financial decisions alone and keeping financial information secret.  More than this a perpetrator will use ‘interference tactics’ to prevent their partner from going to work (or places of study) or giving up their job altogether.  The purpose of this behaviour is to entrap and isolate the victim as soon as possible so they become solely and financially dependent on the abusive partner.

Economic abuse is often the first sign of Coercive Control  within a relationship.  A perpetrator knows if you restrict and then take away access to money and financial independence from their partner, they quickly become dis-empowered, have less choices and opportunities to leave the abusive relationship.

Economic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, culture, social or employment circumstances and when it happens can have a long-lasting devastating impact on the victim of abuse.  Even if a person can leave the relationship, they will likely have a mountain of debts often in the region of thousands of pounds all under their name (which the perpetrator has ensured), a destroyed credit history and having to start again from nothing.  This situation is soul destroying and often takes many years to recover from.  With the introduction of Economic Abuse into the new Bill, at last this situation is beginning to be understood and sources of support for victims being identified.

How can you, as an employer, identify if a staff member needs support in this area?  Firstly, how can you encourage your staff to disclose if they are experiencing financial difficulties? After all, money is often a hidden subject and rarely spoken about.  Identify the barriers to disclosing within your organisation then take steps to remove these barriers.  Show your staff you are sympathetic towards these issues and can support them by providing practical support such as helping them to set up an escape fund.

Signs of an employee experiencing financial or economic abuse:-

  • Often doesn’t have lunch or travel money
  • No longer joins in on social events at or after work
  • Not having debit or credit cards, cannot access their bank accounts
  • Unable to explain their lack of access to money
  • Changes in appearance
  • Becoming withdrawn or seeming depressed or anxious

By engaging with awareness and training on the Impact of Domestic Abuse in the Workplace, you will have an in-depth understanding of these issues and be in a stronger position to support your staff safely and appropriately.

Further sources of support: Founder: Dr Nicola Sharps-Jeff  https://survivingeconomicabuse.org/

Enhancing clients digital footprints

Irwin Edgehill Training has been supporting individuals and teams for over a decade.  Founded by Irwin Edgehill, a Bournemouth based trainer and personal development coach, they have helped hundreds of people build their confidence and resilience empowering them to transform their personal & professional lives.

Irwin Edgehill Training approached the team at e-nexus to help them develop their marketing. They wanted to work with an agency that could help them enhance their profile and reach new customers.  Building on their existing marketing efforts, our initial phase of activity was focused on enhancing their digital footprint to make it easier for potential clients to find them and ensure there is a consistent narrative.  To date we have:

  • Built a new company website (irwinedgehilltraining.com) focusing on content, design and SEO
  • Set up new social media channels and refreshed existing ones
  • Written & posted content for the company’s new Blog and social media channels based on our Social Media Management programme
  • Updated and supplied content to business referral sites
  • Grown social media followers, blog followers and engagement with followers
  • Identified, joined & engaged with other social media communities

Irwin Edgehill Training’s feedback on what we have delivered to date has been: “The best things come to those who wait. Having finally attracted the right company to market my business, I am infinitely pleased that Richard is now helping me move my business to the next level. A straight up guy who professionally delivers on everything he creates, the feedback I have and continue to receive from others on the work e-nexus has produced is fantastic. A very good professional and a nice man, highly recommended.”

Interested in discussing with e-nexus how we can support your marketing needs then email: info@e-nexus.co.uk or call Richard Milton on 07535 612652

Enhancing Signs Express Bournemouth Social Media presence

Signs Express Bournemouth are sign makers and vehicle graphics specialists in Bournemouth. They asked us at e-nexus to help them review their approach to their social media management and recommend how it could be enhanced to boost the profile and reach of the business.

Our approach with Signs Express Bournemouth was to run a bespoke enhancement workshop for them based on preliminary investigative work we did for the business that also included developing for them a structured social media schedule activity planner.  Our focus for the preliminary investigative work included:

1. Reviewing their existing channels including their existing content posting schedule
2. Identifying other social media groups, pages or communities where they could post content
3. Pulling together some examples of best practice that could enhance their social media efforts

The social media enhancement workshop itself was split into three sections and covered:

1. Findings from our preliminary investigative work
2. Sharing successful examples from our own social media work
3. Reviewing, populating & finalising the social media schedule planner designed for Signs Express Bournemouth

Feedback from the team at Signs Express Bournemouth was: “Richard is an inspiring digital professional who always shows a genuine interest in your business and is simply a pleasure to work with. He is able to quickly understand your business model and goals to bring a range of marketing solutions to the table. Once upon a time digital marketing was overwhelming and something to be feared. Since working with Richard this is a thing of the past, he has implemented continuity across our platforms, developed a stress-free structure that’s works so well for us and offers a fantastic continuous level of support when you need it. Highly recommend!”

Interested in reviewing your approach to your social media management contact e-nexus by emailing:  info@e-nexus.co.uk or calling 07535 612652

Have your say on 5G connectivity

In response to the recent interest shown by residents, businesses and community groups, BCP Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Board is undertaking a ‘Call for Evidence on the implementation of 5G connectivity in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’.
This is a formal process to gather your views and gain a fuller understanding of public opinion, and to consider whether further investigation is required into the topic.
All comments are welcome, but we’d like you to please consider these two questions:
What are the perceived benefits to the area as a result of implementing 5G?
What are the perceived concerns relating to the implementation of 5G?

Share your views in person on 23 September
If you wish to share your views with us in person please attend the Overview & Scrutiny Board meeting on Monday 23 September, 4-5.30pm in the Council Chamber in Christchurch.

Please note: if you’d like to speak at the meeting you must email the team with your request by 12 noon on Friday 20 September. A maximum of five minutes per speaker will be provided on a first come first served basis, with equal opportunity for perceived concerns and benefits to be expressed.

Share your views by email before 7 October
If you cannot attend the meeting but would like to share your views you can email your comments and thoughts to us before Monday 7 October.