Financial Empowerment Service

The Haven Wolverhampton provides support to women who may be experiencing financial abuse as a result of domestic violence.

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse is a form of mistreatment in which an abuser forcibly controls a victim’s economic means. It can involve confiscating, rationing, stealing or withholding money; not allowing the victim to take part in any financial decisions; or even forcing the victim to quit their job. Financial abuse can also occur when one partner purposely accumulates large amounts of debt in their partner’s name. Financial abuse can often begin subtly and progresses over time. It can happen to anyone regardless of their income, education or independent success. Whilst it can be difficult for couples / families to navigate the complexities of household finances it is important to be aware that a healthy relationship should include open dialogue, communication and agreement to all financial matters. Many of those affected by financial abuse feel as though there is no means of escape. Particularly in the current economic climate victims feel they simply cannot afford to leave.

I am affected by Financial Abuse - How can The Haven Wolverhampton help me?

The Haven Wolverhampton Financial Empowerment Service Project, provides free independent specialist support to women experiencing financial abuse as a result of domestic violence. The project provides FREE specialist debt advice and guidance on budgeting and money management. Support is also available to help women access small grants to alleviate the financial difficulties and pressures experienced by those affected by this form of abuse.

Debt advice and support is also available over the phone on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between 10am and 2pm – please call 08000 194 400 today to speak to someone in confidence.

Achieving financial independence after abuse

A comprehensive and detailed guide has been produced in order to provide women affected by financial abuse with information and guidance on the steps that can be taken to leaving an abusive relationship and achieving economic independence. The guide - 'Surviving Financial Abuse: A Guide to Achieving Economic Independence' is FREE to download and printed copies are available on request. This publication is suitable for use by those experiencing financial abuse as well as agencies and organisations who work with those affected by domestic violence.

Money Advice Game

In addition to the above financial support services we have produced a new innovative game called Money Advice Game. Funded by the Money Advice Trust, this digital learning tool to help assess your level of financial capability with the aim of helping you to achieve Financial Stability. The tool aims to build on our previous project, also funded by the Money Advice Trust. Our initial project included the design of a financial capability workbook ‘Moving on through economic empowerment’ and the delivery of interactive financial capability sessions to support over 150 women. The main focus of our digital game is to extend the financial capability training sessions where learners build confidence reacting to real life situations. It will support victims of economic abuse helping them to make sound financial decisions and build stable futures for themselves and their families. Active learning will take place in an informal setting and the financial capability sessions will help to develop key financial skills and comprehension reaching out to clients daunted by formal learning. The digital game, which can be accessed on computers or smart phones has been developed by the Lead for Community Support Services and Financial Service in partnership with a game developer. The digital game can be accessed online through Haven Website at The Haven’s refuges, our Women’s Resource Centre and client’s own homes. The game is approximately 5 minutes in duration, and consist of scenarios and basic questions to support money management; for example, ‘What is APR’? And ‘How would you prioritise the following outgoings’? Immediate feedback to answers will support instant learning. You are then invited to join the Financial Capability Session to develop your skills on money management.

The project will deliver weekly financial capability sessions, which have proven to be valuable in supporting women to gain financial confidence and independence. As a result of working closely with our service users, we can see economic changes which may effect on our clients. In particular the introduction of universal credit and also payday loans and inappropriate lending will be added to the workbook to equip our clients with the information they need to make financial decisions.

You can access the link yourself and start to use with your clients as part of your support. Just CLICK HERE or on the image to be taken straight to the website.

 

 

 

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