What is survivor financial empowerment and why does it matter?

Financial empowerment presents a broader, more holistic approach to financial education.
TRIBE Freedom Foundation has empowered survivors of modern slavery since 2017.

Over the years, we have supported more than 500 survivors through funding for our frontline charity partners. Through our work, we have spoken to many survivors from different backgrounds in the UK and the US. They have explained to us the importance of financial empowerment and what this means to them.

Support survivor financial empowerment

Driving financial empowerment

We’re calling on all banks and survivor support organisations to drive long-term financial empowerment. This is one of four key areas to support survivors.

This includes supporting access to tailored financial literacy education, employability support and wider financial services. They will help survivors to overcome the existing barriers to financial inclusion identified through our research.

The importance of financial empowerment

The combination of financial inclusion (access to a bank account and other financial services) and financial independence (comprising stability, control and saving for the future) enables survivors to rebuild their lives free from exploitation or financial manipulation.

When survivors are financially empowered and have access to financial services, they can move on with their lives and benefit from the ability to:

Receive money:

Salaries, benefits, grants, educational funding, compensation

Start employment:

Without a bank account, survivors cannot receive a formal salary

Pay bills:

Register for a phone contract, internet access and other household bills

Save for the future:

To start work, save for children, buy a car and other long-term goals

Ultimately, financial inclusion enables survivors to flourish, benefitting their mental health and wellbeing with feelings of hopefulness, security and belonging.

Brooke’s story

Brooke* is a survivor of modern slavery. Her goal is to become a foster parent, providing a home for vulnerable children when they need it most and building herself a stable career.

To work towards this, Brooke wants to learn how to save money and manage her finances so that she won’t need to depend on anyone again or fall back into exploitation. In her own words: “If I’m saving my money, then I’m on the right path financially, because finances are the ones that cause people to manipulate us”.

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