The Financial Independence Hub – one year empowering and supporting victim survivors of financial abuse
This month marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Financial Independence Hub, a free, personalised service offering one-on-one financial coaching, support, and tools to help people previously impacted by domestic and financial abuse to build their financial confidence. Delivered by Good Shepherd and funded by CommBank’s Next Chapter program, the program has already brought positive change to the lives of more than 200 survivors of financial abuse.
In an event to mark the milestone this week, participants in the program shared stories and feedback about the impact of the Financial Independence Hub. When they contacted Good Shepherd, some of these participants inherited mounting debt from ex-partners as part of a pattern of coercive control, others had no previous experience with paying bills and managing finances due to lack of exposure within their past relationship. As a result of working with the Hub, participants reported feelings of hope, support and understanding, and described feeling more confident and empowered.
Survey data from participants indicates that as a result of engaging with the Financial Independence Hub, they had experienced significant transformative change (70%), optimism for the future (83%) and ability to meet an unexpected cost (72%) while 50% recognised they had recovered or were making progress1**
About the Financial Independence Hub
The Financial Independence Hub came about as a result of CommBank and Good Shepherd’s shared vision to recognise the prevalence of domestic and family violence and develop appropriate support for survivors of financial abuse. Central to the success of the program is the fact that the service was co-designed with people with lived experience of domestic and family violence.
Over the next three years, the hub is committed to bringing more positive change to 10,000 survivors, with trauma-informed financial support not bound to any time limit.
How to get support
The Financial Independence Hub is for people who have previously experienced financial abuse as a result of domestic and family violence and who are looking to build their financial independence.
While signs of financial abuse can be hard to identify, they often present as a partner or family member:
- Controlling access to bank accounts
- Taking out loans/debt in your name
- Controlling your spending
- Pressuring you to sign up to loans
- Hiding money and assets
You may be eligible to access support if you:
- Are over 18 years of age and resident in Australia (you can be on a temporary visa and do not need to be a resident of Australia)
- Are not currently in a crisis
- Have previously been impacted by financial abuse as a result of domestic and family violence
Support is available regardless of who you bank with. It is just one of Good Shepherd’s services contributing to the safety and empowerment of survivors of financial and domestic abuse. Good Shepherd can refer you to other services on a need’s identification basis.
To find out more visit goodshep.org.au/FIH
To find out more about CommBank’s Next Chapter program visit commbank.com.au/supported/next-chapter
If you are currently experiencing ongoing domestic and family violence (If you are, please contact 1800 RESPECT or visit 1800respect.org.au)
1 Financial Independence Hub Interim Evaluation June 2021.pdf
**Of 21 Program participants and 7 Good Shepherd staff interviewed