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YWCA taps in to CommBank donation platform to help women experiencing financial abuse

YWCA Australia has partnered with CommBank to help raise funds to support victim-survivors of financial abuse via the Next Chapter CanGive appeal.

Through the appeal, the bank will open CanGive, its donation platform available in the CommBank App, to allow customers the opportunity to show their support by donating vital funds to YWCA. CommBank will dollar match up to a combined total of $300,000.

The appeal forms part of CommBank Next Chapter; the bank’s long-standing initiative to address the issue of financial abuse, perpetrated through domestic and family violence.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 Personal Safety Survey found 1 in 4 women have experienced at least one incident of violence perpetrated by an intimate partner, and a June 2020 community attitudes survey of over 10,000 Australians, commissioned by CommBank and conducted by YouGov, revealed almost 40 per cent of the adult population have experienced or know someone who has experienced financial abuse.

Financial abuse is one of the most powerful ways an abuser can keep a partner or family member trapped in an abusive relationship, and may also impact on that person’s ability to stay safe once they leave the relationship.

YWCA Australia CEO, Michelle Phillips, said “Financial abuse is insidious and prevalent in Australia. It’s hard to spot, and it can be debilitating for women. By partnering with CommBank and through the donations received via CanGive, we will be able to fund our services and programs which provide victim-survivors of domestic violence and financial abuse with the support they need to feel safe, regain their financial independence and create the future they want.”

YWCA Australia provides women and their families with tailored support to help them feel safe, stabilise their finances and create a better life as they see it.

A donation of $10 could provide a victim-survivor escaping an emergency situation with essential items like toiletries.

Rachel* found herself in a controlling and financially abusive relationship with her partner frequently making violent threats towards her. “I was isolated because he didn’t want me going out and meeting anyone. He controlled my access to phones and computers.”

With the support of YWCA Australia, Rachel was able to access safe, affordable accommodation which gave her the stability she needed to get her life back on track. “I now feel hopeful, [about my] future,” she said.

Donations collected through the appeal will help women such as Rachel escape financial abuse and start their journey towards long-term financial independence.

Claire Dawson, Executive Manager Community Investment at CommBank said, “At CommBank, we’ve had a long-standing focus on addressing the issue of domestic violence and financial abuse. Through our work in this space we know the devastating impact financial abuse can have and we want to help victim-survivors get back on their feet. By partnering with YWCA Australia, along with the generous support of our customers, we hope to help those impacted when they need it most.

Donations collected through the appeal will go to a range of initiatives that will directly assist victim-survivors:

  • $5: could help a victim-survivor connect safely with crisis services.
  • $10: could provide a victim-survivor with essential toiletries. 
  • $15: could provide a victim-survivor with return public transport to essential appointments.
  • $25: could provide a victim-survivor with essential food for a week.
  • $50: could provide fuel so a victim-survivor can maintain independence.

To find out more, please visit: commbank.com.au/nextchapter.

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