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What does Financial abuse look like?

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is a form of family violence. It can include withholding money, controlling all the household spending or refusing to include you in financial decisions. Financial abuse can happen to anyone.

Many people do not have access to finances in their relationship. If the relationship breaks down, they often find themselves without any money, or may not even know how much money they are entitled to.

Financially abusive behaviours include: CONTROLLING A FAMILY MEMBER’S MONEY: Taking control of someone else’s finances (e.g. being in charge of all the household income and paying the other person an allowance) Controlling how all of the household income is spent Forcing a family member to claim social security benefits like Centrelink Making a family member be the guarantor on a loan or taking out a loan in their name Making a family member take out a second credit card Forcing a family member to work in a family business without being paid Filing fraudulent insurance claims Forging a family member’s signature on financial documents Taking money out of a family member’s pension Selling a family member’s possessions without permission Misusing an Enduring Power of Attorney Forcing a family member to change their Will STOPPING A FAMILY MEMBER FROM EARNING THEIR OWN MONEY: Stopping a family member from getting a job or going to work Stopping a family member from going to work or important meetings by keeping them up all night or physically hurting them Stopping a family member from studying Stalking or harassing a family member’s colleagues LIMITING A FAMILY MEMBER’S ACCESS TO MONEY: Not giving a family member access to bank accounts Denying a family member access to money so they can’t afford basic expenses like food or medicine Destroying, damaging or stealing property Racking up debt on shared accounts or joint credit cards Withholding financial support like child support payments Refusing to work or contribute anything to the household income

Sian Lewis from CBA discusses the community attitudes of financial abuse and how the new Financial Independence Hub created in collaboration with Good Shepherd can help those impacted by domestic and financial abuse.

One-in-four Australians have experienced financial abuse

• New research reveals almost four in ten adult Australians have either experienced financial abuse or know someone who has • The most common behaviour involves a perpetrator using all their partner’s wages for household expenses while spending their own money only on themselves • Building on years of work, Commonwealth Bank today announces two initiatives to tackle financial abuse in collaboration with sector partners and experts • New initiatives include an in-house Community Wellbeing team, financial coaching and interest-free loans for victims

New research from Commonwealth Bank’s Community Attitudes to Financial Abuse survey reveals that almost 40 per cent of the adult population has either experienced financial abuse (26%) or knows someone who has (12%). This comes as CBA launches Next Chapter a program that will see the bank bring a range of services and support to market, including a Financial Independence Hub and Community Wellbeing Team.

With four-in-five Australians agreeing abuse is a widespread problem, CommBank’s tailored support services are designed to make it easier for victims and survivors to start their next chapter and achieve long-term financial independence. This comes as only half (53%) of those who have experienced financial abuse have sought help.

In this podcast we hear from 1800RESPECT financial abuse survivor campaign.

If you or anyone else you know needs support call 1800RESPECT


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