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Financial Abuse Research Report

Launch of Research Report and Information Booklet on Women and Financial Abuse

WIRE Women’s Information launched on Tuesday 26 August 2014 at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre:

  • Research Report Relationship Problems and Money: Women talk about financial abuse Download report
  • Information Booklet Money Problems With Your Partner? Dealing with financial abuse Download booklet

— Official launch by the Minister for Community Services, Hon. Mary Wooldridge, MP
–Presentations by WIRE Researcher Prue Cameron & CEO Samiro Douglas
–Hosted by Chair of WIRE Board Anne Smyth

Research Report Relationship Problems and Money: Women talk about financial abuse
This groundbreaking report explores the nature and impact of financial abuse in the context of family violence on the women and children who experience it. It finds that financial abuse continues long after women leave the relationship, as former partners use the legal, child support and income support systems to cause ongoing economic hardship and psychological distress. 
Read report | Download PDF | Read media release | The Age | Daily Life
Project funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services 

Information Booklet Money Problems With Your Partner? Dealing with financial abuse
WIRE’s new information booklet aims to provide women in Victoria with information to help them understand that financial abuse is a form of family violence and gives practical tips on dealing with this often invisible abuse. Read booklet
Funded by a grant from the Victoria Law Foundation

Financial abuse in the context of family violence: Empowering and informing women

“He controlled all the money. I had to account for every cent I spent.”
“I trusted him with our money, now I’m left with all his debts.”
“When we got married I had some savings, a job and a car. The marriage is over and I’ve got nothing.”
“I don’t care about the money. I just want to feel safe, get away, and start again.”

Project background

WIRE Women’s Information is conducting research into women’s experience of financial abuse in intimate relationships, with a particular focus on the barriers and challenges women face in claiming their full financial and legal entitlements when they leave the relationship.

Although financial abuse has been included in the Victorian Family Violence legislation since 2008 there is still very little public awareness about this issue and many women who experience financial abuse are not aware that this is a form of family violence. However, there is strong evidence that many women leaving family violence situations face short and long-term financial hardship as a result of not seeking their financial entitlements at the point of separation and during court proceedings.

To date there has been little research on understanding the emotional and behavioural impact of financial abuse and how this impacts on women and their decisions after they leave the abusive relationship. This research will increase our knowledge and understanding of women who have experienced financial abuse and inform the development of actions, strategies and information to support women to make informed choices about  their financial entitlements after separation.

Financial abuse is experienced by women from all walks of life and we would like to capture the experiences of women across the age, social and cultural spectrum in our research.

Who will benefit

This project will benefit women who have  experienced financial abuse and their children; legal and financial organisations, and community services that work with women who have experienced financial abuse and government agencies at federal, state and local level.

The research process

By talking to women in focus groups and individual interviews, as well as conducting an online survey, this project will help us to:

  • Develop content in plain English that will encourage women to act;
  • Pinpoint key messages that will reach and resonate with women who have experienced financial abuse; and
  • Identify the best formats, locations and people to provide the information.

Our first round of focus groups was held in 372 Spencer St, West Melbourne in November 2013 and in regional areas in March 2014. Women from all walks of life who have experienced financial abuse, shared their knowledge and experiences with other women in these confidential focus group sessions.

This project is funded by the the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)

WIRE Women’s Information Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence in Australia

WIRE Media Release-Financial abuse:the hidden face of family violence – 25th February 2014

WIRE Publications Order Form 2015 (July)

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This page was last updated on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.
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