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The Purse Project

A one-day financial training workshop for family violence workers

Now in its third successful year, The Purse Project 2017 will provide a free, one-day financial abuse and financial capability training workshop. Specifically developed for family violence workers, the workshop will build knowledge, information and skills to identify financial abuse and support women to develop financial capability and make effective referrals to financial services. Workers who participate will also receive follow-up support and secondary consultations to make the most out of the training.

Workshops will be held at ten locations in Melbourne and regional Victoria between June and October 2017. 

Why is the Purse Project needed?

"I wouldn't end up having the conversation about money because he was a volcano ready to erupt"   

"At the start of the relationship, I had about $32,000 saved up...when I left, I was about $7000 in debt..."

Between 80 and 90% of women looking for support for family violence have experienced financial abuse. Financial abuse is legally recognised in Victoria as a form of family violence.

The problem is, many women know what they are experiencing is wrong and harmful to them and their children but do not recognise it as a form of family violence. This can stop women getting the support they need. Workers who support them could help more if they knew what information, services and learning tools are available to get their finances back on track. 

For over ten years, WIRE has gathered information from women in Victoria about what financial abuse is, how it affects their ability to manage their finances, and what barriers prevent them getting back on track and building more security for the future.

We know that women have emotional relationships with money. Family violence workers can help unpack emotional and practical barriers that get in the way of building financial capability and help reduce the time taken by women for financial recovery.

Who is the Purse Project for?

This training is for people working in the family violence sector who want to deepen their knowledge and gain new skills that can help women to recognise financial abuse, build their financial skills and capacity, and improve their financial outcomes.

What will I learn?

  • Up-to-date laws, definitions, research and terminology
  • How to identify, name and explain financial abuse and its impact to colleagues and clients
  • How to identify a range of controlling tactics and behaviours used to perpetrate financial abuse
  • How financial abuse impacts women's financial capability in the short, medium and long term, across different life stages and at different points in recovery
  • New tools to inspire, motivate and empower your clients to take whatever control of their financial situation they can
  • How to bust myths and unpack women's emotional relationships with money
  • Confidently open up the difficult ”money conversation” using the WIRE model
  • Know who’s who and who can help in the financial services sector to make effective referrals.
  • Be mindful of risky financial lenders and debt collection agencies. 

How can I sign up?

If you're interested in joining The Purse Project, please contact WIRE's Purse Project Coordinator, Nilmini Fernando, at or (03) 9348 9416 (ext 9) on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

Where and when is it?

Sessions will run at regional and metropolitan locations across Victoria from June to October 2017

Exact dates and venues will be published on this page and in our fortnightly enewsletters. Subscribe here to be the first to know.

Purse Project Bulletin 1 

Purse Project Bulletin 2

Background: The Purse Project began in Victoria in 2015 when 79 women and 65 professionals who work with women experiencing family violence took part. Its success has led to the project being re-funded in 2017, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous private funder.

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