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Preventing financial abuse

Responsible government

  • Commonwealth

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Primary prevention is key
    • 1 Advance gender equality and respect for women through effective primary prevention initiatives.
    • 2 Improve coordination across primary prevention activities to maximise their impact on community attitudes and behaviours that lead to violence.
  • Respect, listen and respond to the diverse lived experience and knowledge of women and their children affected by violence
    • 11 Deliver policies and services to address the disproportionate impact of violence on particular groups.

What are we doing?

The Commonwealth Government is currently consulting with key stakeholders across government, non-government and industry sectors to:

  • map existing approaches to preventing financial abuse to identify effective initiatives, gaps and areas for improvement
  • design and deliver new initiatives to prevent financial abuse
  • improve the overall coordination and delivery of initiatives aimed at preventing financial abuse
  • educate people about healthy financial relationships
  • equip financial service providers with resources to assist those at risk of financial abuse
  • develop resources that consider the unique experience of specific groups of women, including:
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
    • women with disability
    • women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
    • LGBTIQ+ women.

What have we achieved so far?

  • An Advisory Group was established in 2020, bringing together key experts to ensure project deliverables are informed by best practice and consider emerging issues. Members of the Advisory Group included experts in finance and banking, primary prevention and frontline service delivery. The membership also ensures diverse cohorts of women are represented, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

What is next?

  • Design and development of initiatives has commenced, informed by consultations undertaken to identify effective initiatives, gaps and areas for improvement. . Products may include resources to raise awareness of financial literacy and financial abuse, with consideration of how to tailor the content to meet the needs of specific groups of women.
  • A Literature Review was commissioned to identify effective initiatives, gaps and areas for improvement. The literature review will be published on the Office for Women website.
  • Additional tools are also being produced to better assist women to improve their financial literacy and access information about financial abuse. Resources will also be developed, in consultation with the business and family and domestic violence sector, to support business and industry to embed safety by design in their products and services.
  • An independent evaluation will be finalised by end 2021.

What difference will we make?

The intended outcomes of this initiative include:

  • increased awareness of financial literacy and financial abuse
  • changes in attitudes and greater recognition that financial control in a relationship is unhealthy and a form of coercive control
  • reduced incidence of financial abuse over the long-term.

These activities will contribute to changes in awareness and attitudes measured through the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey.

An independent evaluation will measure the success of individual initiatives, including measures of reach.

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