Financial Abuse

Financial Abuse

I spent today with a woman who has been through the hell of financial abuse. She had met her husband as a teenager and spent most of her adult life with him. He was a philanderer, with lots of leased toys such as boats and fancy cars. Now in her mid-forties and divorced, she has found herself struggling. He is able to travel around Australia with his new partner. She is left with debts and the enormity of starting again. She had to move from the lovely townhouse she shared with her young daughter after struggling to cover the rent on her income.

Whether it be an irresponsible partner racking up credit card debt, numerous parking and speeding fines coming in the mail in your name (because they haven’t any points left on their own license), or having to dip into the savings after they have overspent yet again, it has to end. So many women hold this secret shame, unable to articulate to others how they ended up in debt, their credit rating besmirched.

It happens all too easily. Those who leave their partners with horrendous debt and black marks against them are cunning. Secretive and wilful, the disaster they have woven usually doesn’t come to light until the eleventh hour. It is fine to advise women to keep a secret bank account, but what usually happens is that she has to dip into her money to keep a roof over her head and that of her family. That money is needed to cover the shortfall from the partner’s voracious spending and/or gambling. Many women don’t uncover the whole truth until after they have separated, and the reality hits them.

If you can relate to the above, please don’t suffer in silence. It is not your shame to carry.

Help is available from the following organisations:

ASIC Money Smart

An excellent booklet which covers a lot of ground

Women Talk Money