Financial abuse is one of the most common elements within violent relationships, with research showing nearly 90 per cent of people affected by domestic and family violence have also been financially abused.
It’s a growing issue, and one the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has described as “particularly troubling” in the age of coronavirus, when travel restrictions and financial struggles have exacerbated the danger for many vulnerable Australians.
“It’s an unfortunate reality that domestic and family violence is a prevalent community issue in Australia, which is particularly troubling in times of crisis like the current coronavirus situation,” Sian Lewis, CBA’s group executive of human resources, said.
“As one of Australia’s largest employers, we know how important it is to provide the right support for employees who are experiencing a domestic and family violence situation.”
The major bank has partnered with prominent leading domestic violence prevention group Our Watch to provide tools and resources to people experiencing violence at home through a new website.
The site includes a series of videos and links to resources designed to help organisations understand domestic violence and its impact on communities, as well as how to address it at work.
Domestic Violence NSW, No to Violence, Australia’s CEO Challenge, Wire and UNSW Sydney all contributed to the formation of the site.
“Workplaces have a significant influence over people’s professional and personal lives, and within society more broadly. Research tells us that by increasing gender equality in public and private life – including workplaces, we can reduce violence against women,” Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly said.
“These videos can help workplaces and their staff understand how to respond to and prevent family and intimate partner violence and ultimately, contribute to creating a more respectful and equal workplace.”
Around one-in-four women and one-in-13 men in Australia have experienced intimate partner violence, with the prevalence increasing during coronavirus.
1800 RESPECT said its online chat tool had seen usage increase by 38 per cent in March and April.
CommBank recently plugged a hole allowing users to send abusive messages through money transfers, warning it will penalise those who send such messages.