25 February 2019

ONLINE TOOL FIRST OF ITS KIND TO ASSIST WA WOMEN FACING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND FINANCIAL ABUSE

Women facing domestic violence and financial abuse will, for the first time in Western Australia, have access to a new online toolkit, to help them to become more financially independent, secure and safe.

Launched today by the Hon. Simone McGurk MLA Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Your Toolkit is a comprehensive web-based information resource designed to assist women and children facing domestic violence situations.

Your Tookit provides accessible and simple to understand information that will:

  • assist women to better manage their personal finances;
  • provide other relevant information such as keeping safe and available supports and services.

Information provided in Your Toolkit is grouped together to suit the different stages in a woman’s journey to becoming independent, empowered and financially resilient:

  • Planning to leave (“Prepare”);
  • Time to go (“Launch”);
  • When you leave home – early days (“Nourish”); and
  • Resources for moving forward/ longer term (“Flourish”).

Minister McGurk thanked Financial Toolbox for their work supporting survivors of family and domestic violence.

“We know that family and domestic violence is a serious issue in our community and that not all abuse is physical. The impact of financial abuse is a serious concern for women leaving abusive relationships.

“I am pleased the State Government has been able to provide a $20,000 grant to Financial Toolbox to support the development of this online resource which aims to empower survivors to gain financial independence.

“We must continue to work in partnership – government, business and the community services sector – if we are to reduce family and domestic violence in our community.”

Almost a quarter of Australian women (23%) have experienced at least one incident of violence by an intimate partner or ex-partner since the age of 15 [i], and domestic and family violence is the single largest driver of homelessness for women [ii].

Financial abuse has been estimated to occur among 80-90% of women who seek support for domestic and family violence [iii], and lack of economic security and financial resources are the primary reason women return to abusive relationships [iv].

Your Toolkit has been developed by not for profit group Financial Toolbox with funding from Department of Communities and Demeter Legacy, and is the first of its kind in Australia.

“Our research has told us that while there is a great deal of information available on the internet, it is not centralised or easy to find, nor is it all specifically tailored for women in abusive situations. This information needs to be available in one easily accessible place, and presented in “bite sized” chunks, particularly in times of crisis,” said Lyn Beazley, patron of Financial Toolbox.

Your Toolkit provides a one-stop shop of crucial information needed for women, who are often in a time of confusion, fear or sadness, to be able to make informed decisions”, she said.

Your Toolkit has been developed following extensive consultation with domestic violence survivors, support workers, women’s refuge staff, industry bodies including the Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence, 1800 Respect, Legal Aid, WA Police, social workers and others.

Your Toolkit is now available FREE online to all women and families at www.yourtoolkit.com.au.

Your Toolkit will be used as part of a new Economic Empowerment Project. This new initiative is a partnership between the Women’s Council for Family and Domestic Violence (WA), Financial Counsellors’ Association of WA, Curtin University and the Department of Communities and will provide financial education workshops in women’s refuges throughout Western Australia.

Financial Toolbox aims to build financial knowledge and skills of Western Australian women to give them independence and freedom of choice throughout their lives. They are passionate and dedicated volunteers who work in partnership with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, ensuring their financial education is backed by professional expertise.

For more information visit http://www.financialtoolbox.org.au

Media Enquiries: Ali Welburn | Limelight Consulting
E: [email protected] | M: 0403 978 221‬

REFERENCES

i ABS, 2017 Personal safety Australia 2016 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/4906.0

ii 55% of women with children presenting to specialist homelessness services nominated violence as their main reason for seeking help. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012) Specialist homeless services data collection 2011-12, Cat. No. HOU 267, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra

iii Responding to economic abuse, Social Policy Research Centre document, UNSW that references Evans, 2007; Macdonald, 2012).

iv Kim & Grey, 2008; Meyer, 2012; Cameron, 2014

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