• Sara Mohideen from NSAES and Kelly Henderson from Gentoo lead the first training session

Gentoo helps Government to tackle economic abuse

The recognition that economic control, exploitation and sabotage can be a part of domestic abuse is a key aspect of the Government’s landmark domestic abuse Bill and the National Skills Academy for Financial Services (NSAFS), working with partners Gentoo and Surviving Economic Abuse, will be officially helping legislators to tackle this problem.

The Government’s proposed legislation was published on Monday (January 21) creating a statutory definition of domestic abuse and introducing a wide range of additional measures covering protection and support for victims, support for children, improving the law enforcement response, and tackling economic abuse.

A key paragraph in these additional measures states the Government will:

provide £200,000 of funding to the National Skills Academy for Financial Services to develop and deliver financial capability training for frontline workers to support individuals who are experiencing economic abuse

Chief Executive of NSAFS Peter Pledger said:

“We are delighted to be able to play a significant role in helping realise the ambition of this crucial piece of legislation, working with our partners to bring training to front-line practitioners so they understand the realities of economic abuse and gain the skills and knowledge to provide much-needed help and support to victims in a safe and appropriate way.”

The training, which will be aimed primarily at charities and not-for-profit organisations, is being delivered in partnership with housing association Gentoo and economic abuse charity Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA). Both organisations are acting as consultants and champions for the new training programme, assisting in determining course content and engaging organisations and front-line workers to attend the courses.

Kelly Henderson, Business Manager Domestic Abuse, Gentoo and Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) Co-founder, said:

“In the last five years, Gentoo has supported over 6,500 customers to manage their finances so we fully understand the important role housing providers can play in helping tenants experiencing economic abuse.

“We are pleased to play a role in this innovative project and hope that, by engaging housing providers further in recognising the signs of economic abuse, we can make a real difference to victims and survivors.”

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, Director of Surviving Economic Abuse, comments:

“Naming this form of abuse within statute will undoubtedly help bring economic abuse out of the shadows and will transform responses, ensuring that victim-survivors are able to access the support they so desperately need.”

NSAFS already runs a range of courses designed to help people to manage their money more effectively; such courses have included youth workers mentoring young people and those advising housing association tenants coping with rent arrears and those experiencing difficulties with Universal Credit.

NSAFS has also supplied written evidence to Treasury Select Committee Inquiries into women in finance and household finances.