Women looking down leaning on hands

Postal data breaches leave survivors £7.1 billion out of pocket, finds new research

28th February 2020

Citizens Advice Bureau have produced a new report on how perpetrators of domestic abuse manipulate the postal system to continue to stalk, harass and exert coercive control over their victims.

The report found that half of survivors have had their post intercepted* by their perpetrator. As a result, survivors have missed out on cancer treatments, fallen into thousands of pounds of debt from unpaid bills, and lost touch with their family and friends.

It’s estimated that survivors have lost £7.1 billion over the past decade as a result of perpetrators intercepting their post.

Adina Claire, Acting co-CEO at Women’s Aid, said:

“When a survivor finds the courage to leave her perpetrator, she faces huge barriers to finding a safe new home and starting a new life. This report shows how the current postal system can be yet another problem. 

A postal data breach is not only upsetting, it can compromise her physical safety and leave her thousands of pounds in debt. We are calling on the government and the Information Commissioner to take the steps outlined in this report to tackle this serious issue without delay.”

*Interception means the perpetrator takes the post addressed to the survivor and does any of the following: hides it, opens it, reads it, stops the survivor accessing it or destroys it.

If you are worried that your partner, or that of a friend or family member, is controlling and abusive, you can go to www.womensaid.org.uk for support and information, including Live Chat, the Survivors’ Forum, The Survivor’s Handbook and the Domestic Abuse Directory.

For more information, please contact the Women’s Aid press office: 020 7566 2511 / [email protected]

© 2019 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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