Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, Scottish Labour MP for Midlothian Danielle Rowley pressed Theresa May on the fact that perpetrators of domestic abuse are using single household payments as a tool for financial coercion – branding it “disgusting”.
But Mrs May offered no comfort to the victims, mainly women, who find themselves in this dreadful situation. She simply demonstrated her lack of understanding and compassion by repeating the misguided view that split payments are available on request.
Because research by Refuge and The Co-op Bank has found that the vast majority of women financial abuse victims also experience physical, sexual and emotional abuse in their relationship. So the very act of requesting the split payment could put them in further danger.
Ms Rowley said: “It is worrying that from the answer she gave me, that the Prime Minister still doesn’t seem to grasp the point of automatic split payments. The important word there is ‘automatic’.
“We must not allow our welfare system to be used as a tool of coercive control by abusers. Many of the people who find themselves in this situation are not in a position to get themselves out of it without putting themselves – and often their children too – in further danger.
“We owe it to them to resolve this for them across the United Kingdom without further delay.“