Bridging the evidence gap: financial capability and domestic abuse

olumideprofileDr Olumide Adisa, Research Associate at the University of Suffolk, writes about why the evaluation of a money advice service for survivors of domestic abuse is a crucial step in building an evidence-base for financial capability in the context of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse is complex. This complexity becomes more apparent when one examines the links between domestic abuse and financial capability ­from the limited research available.

Awarded funds by the What Works Fund, Anglia Care Trust (ACT) commissioned the University of Suffolk to evaluate the effectiveness of its money advice service delivery model for survivors of domestic abuse in Suffolk. To my knowledge, this is the first time that an evaluation of a financial capability intervention targeted at those experiencing or who have experienced domestic abuse will be undertaken in the UK.

Why is this important?

Survivors of domestic abuse have often had their financial confidence, resources and knowledge weakened. Understanding what works in addressing these financial dimensions alongside other protective measures is therefore essential in helping survivors of domestic abuse deal with their financial difficulties.

What did we do?

We used qualitative and quantitative evidence to assess the money advice outcomes framework (ability, mindset, and connections). We worked very closely with ACT right from the beginning in developing the instruments that will generate the data for the evaluation.

The money advice service at ACT believes that enhancing financial capability will increase the proportion of survivors of domestic abuse who are financially stable and secure. Evidence of how financial capability positively and significantly influences the resilience-building process of survivors of domestic abuse is likely to enrich the WWF evidence hub.

The research team feel very privileged to have worked with Anglia Care Trust to develop this evidence base on financial capability for survivors of domestic abuse. If you would like more information on the research, please do get in touch: research@uos.ac.uk

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