Safe Harbour Survey

Please take a few moments to answer three questions shown here, the results of which allow us to continue to develop products and services for our members.


We work closely with our members feedback to understand wants and needs in order to design our leading range of borrowing and saving products and services.

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Did you see or hear about our Safe Harbour Campaign?
Would you use this service?
If you were in the situation to use it
Would you recommend this service to others?
If they were in the situation to use it

What is the Safe Harbour service @NHS Credit Union?


It’s a confidential service open to all members, that aims to help those who may be experiencing economic abuse to take back control of their money.


What are the signs of economic abuse? 


If your partner, former partner or anyone else is controlling how you make or spend money, or other areas of your life, including housing, food and employment, you may be experiencing economic abuse.

Recognising Economic Abuse


Economic abuse can be difficult to identify. It can develop slowly and could begin with behaviour that at first seems protective  or caring, for example, offering to take care of all the finances or encouraging you not to work so that you can look after the children.


Over-spending or building up debts in your name or joint names, can also develop slowly and may not be obvious at first. Some women may have lived with economic abuse for many years, and it can continue after leaving.


Despite the difficulties in recognising economic abuse, it is very common. Gender based research highlights, one in six women in the UK has experienced economic abuse by a current or former partner.

Spot the signs of economic abuse


“He had access to all of my bank statements and accounts. I didn’t know anything about his finances.”

“He applied for multiple loans in my name by using the app on my phone. Loans for over £50,000 in total.”

“Even after separating, he said that if I didn’t do his washing and cooking, he wouldn’t pay child maintenance.”

“He watched me enter my PIN and stole money from my account, threatening harm if I changed it.”

If you can answer ‘yes’ to one or more of the following questions, you may be experiencing economic abuse.  Has your current, former partner or anyone else ever: 


  • stopped you from having the money you needed to buy food, clothes or other essentials, or to pay the bills?
  • dictated how you must spend money?
  • insisted you give them receipts or change from any purchases?
  • hidden money so you couldn’t find it?
  • kept important financial information from you?
  • made you ask for money when you needed it?
  • stopped you from having a job or going to work, or made it difficult for you to do so?
  • forced you to get a credit card or loan?
  • made you buy something on credit when you didn’t want to?
  • taken out a credit card or loan in your name?
  • bought something on your credit card without your knowledge or consent?
  • made you buy things for them or pay their bills when you didn’t want to?
  • spent their money however they wanted while your money was used for essentials?
  • stolen things from you?
  • put bills in your name so you had to pay them?
  • built up debt in your name?
  • forced you to give them savings or wages?
  • stopped you from having or accessing a bank account?
  • made you sign papers without telling you what they were for?
  • broken or destroyed your possessions?

“I had not realised that economic abuse was taking place… I was so focused on trying to protect myself and keep my family safe that I only became aware of the economic abuse and the extent of it once I had left.”


Next steps


If you are experiencing economic abuse, you are not alone. There are people and organisations who can help you take steps to reach safety and regain control of your finances. 


Only take any of the following actions if it is safe for you to do so. You are the best judge of whether taking any actions might lead to further harm. 



Economic abuse rarely happens in isolation; it normally happens alongside other forms of domestic abuse. If you are in immediate danger, call the police on 999. Click here for  information on how the police can help.



If you are not in immediate danger but need support, you can call a domestic abuse helplineor contact your local domestic abuse service. You can search for your local service on the Women’s Aid website or on Hestia’s Bright Sky app. Many charities have ways to contact them online, which may help you hide the contact from the abuser.



The Surviving Economic Abuse Financial Support Line, operates in partnership with Money Advice Plus, it offers specialist advice to people experiencing domestic abuse who are in financial difficulty. The advice may help you to regain control of your finances.



If your are concerned about debt, in the first instance NHS Credit Union can speak to you about a debt consolidation loan, however if you require more specialised help for example: If someone has forced you to make transactions that have led you into debt, it is important to speak to a qualified debt advisor. They can help you to find the right debt solution for you, depending on your circumstances.




If you are facing economic abuse and are in financial difficulty, you may be able toapply for a grant<to help with day-to-day expenses.



Notify NHS credit union to make them aware, by mentioning Safe Harbour or putting this hand emoji in the chat


This alerts the staff member to the fact that you may be experiencing economic abuse.  This can be a useful step to help you regain control of your money. Staff will suggest ways of keeping control your finances and ensure any new credit union information is confidential and safe.

Survivors of Economic Abuse Freephone Number


To contact the Financial Support line for advice and guidance call the freephone number 08081968845 between 9am–5pm Monday to Friday. Calls are free of charge. For callers whose first language is not English, an interpretation service is available on request.

Why is NHS Credit Union offering this service?


Under the new Consumer Duty (confirmed in Financial Conduct Authority ‘FCA’ publications PS 22/9 and FG 22/5) a set of higher standards of consumer protection must be implemented across financial services. This requires NHSCU to put their members wellbeing first, with a particular emphasis on treatment of members with characteristics of vulnerability or who may be at a greater risk of harm from economic abuse.