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15 December 21

Affinity Water to help customers who have experienced economic abuse

Surviving economic abuse logo

Affinity Water is to pilot acceptance of a new Economic Abuse Evidence Form (EAEF) to make it easy for its customers who are victim-survivors to get the right debt solution and to prevent them from needing to go through the trauma of recounting their story more than once.

The EAEF is an information sharing tool for use by specialist debt advisers to capture information about the abuse that a victim-survivor has experienced. It captures the information about the abuse in one place and acts as a trusted means of evidence that a debt adviser can use to tell a creditor that their client has experienced economic abuse.

Currently victim-survivors contact an average of five different creditors and negotiate with them all individually. They have to repeat their story to each organisation, often more than once.

Affinity Water’s debt teams have received specialist training from the charity Surviving Economic Abuse to understand more about economic abuse and to build confidence in how to respond and have already been able to support a victim-survivor with the right outcome for them.

Liz Freitas Affinity Water’s Customer Operations Inclusive Services Engagement Manager said: “Affinity Water are proud to be supporting Surviving Economic Abuse and Money Advice Plus with the pilot and this is very much in line with our principles of ‘Show we Care’ and ‘Make it Easy’. By being part of this pilot, we can ensure that victim-survivors do not have to relive the trauma of having to re-tell their story and can get access to the best debt solution quickly.“

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE, CEO and Founder of Surviving Economic Abuse said: “For victim-survivors of economic abuse, debt can feel like an invisible chain which links them to a perpetrator. We also know that the process of getting that debt written off can be traumatic, which is why the Economic Abuse Evidence Form, developed in partnership bySurviving Economic Abuse and Money Advice Plus, is so important. It is amazing to see Affinity Water put the form into use - to hear the difference that it is already making to the victim-survivors they work with and to their team”.

Karen Perrier, CEO of Money Advice Plus said: “We look forward to watching the progress that this pilot makes with other debt advice organisations, and to continuing our work with Affinity Water to support and improve outcomes for victim-survivors of economic abuse."

The Surviving Economic Abuse website can be found here: survivingeconomicabuse.org

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