Your safety is our priority

In an emergency or if you’re not feeling safe, always call 000.

For confidential information, counselling and support, we recommend calling 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. This is a free and confidential service that isn’t part of Commonwealth Bank. If you need an interpreter or translator, you can ask for one and the counsellor will make the arrangements. 

If you’re worried about behaviour, there is free and confidential support available. Call Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491 or chat online ntv.org.au.

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is a serious form of domestic and family violence that occurs when an abuser uses money and resources as a means to gain power, and to control their partner or family member.

It occurs in many different forms and can affect anyone. Approximately 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men have experienced at least one incident of violence by an intimate partner.1 In fact, research suggests up to 90% of people who seek help for domestic and family violence are also affected by financial abuse.2

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.

As part of our CommBank Next Chapter program, we’re committed to increasing community and industry understanding of domestic and financial abuse and building capability to more effectively respond to this issue. 

Better understanding financial abuse

One of the key priorities of our Next Chapter program is to work in partnership with experts to increase community and industry understanding of financial abuse. With these partners we have developed a number of resources you can use to build your understanding of financial abuse and improve your financial independence.

UNSW Gendered Violence Research Network

In partnership with University of New South Wales’s Gendered Violence Research Network, we are developing a research series exploring the current knowledge of financial abuse in Australia.

Report one: Understanding Economic and Financial Abuse in Intimate Partner Relationships

The first research paper in the series sheds light on the prevalence, definition and impact of economic and financial abuse. The paper identifies how financial institutions and other organisations can better address economic and financial abuse through customer support measures.

Report two: Understanding Economic and Financial Abuse in First Nations Communities

The second research paper builds upon the findings of the first paper by considering how experiences of economic and financial abuse are informed by cultural context with a focus on First Nations Communities.

Report three: Understanding Economic and Financial Abuse Across Cultural Contexts

The third research paper examines the available research on economic and financial abuse in diverse cultural contexts and how it may be perpetrated within specific cultural communities.

Report four: Understanding Economic and Financial Abuse and Disability in the Context of Domestic and Family Violence

The fourth research paper examines the existing research on disability, economic and financial abuse. The paper focuses specifically on abuse occurring in the context of domestic and family violence, and notes the need for further research focused on the experiences of people with disability in this context.

Technology-facilitated abuse

In partnership with WESNET we have developed resources on technology-facilitated abuse. This type of abuse occurs when technology is used as a tool by the abuser to gain and maintain power and control over another person. Our resources explore how to identify technology-facilitated abuse and the steps individuals can take to increase their digital financial security.

Enhanced service delivery

We have partnered with Social Ventures Australia to build knowledge, resources and practical tools for organisations providing services for victim-survivors to increase the level of integration of their services. The resources include a detailed overview of the integrated service delivery model and a range of resources and templates shared by partner organisations who have successfully implemented the model.

Further information and resources are available on the Lookout website.

Recognising financial abuse, recovering and regaining financial control

Our Recognise and Recover guide is designed to help victims and survivors of domestic and family violence to identify and find support when experiencing financial abuse. In it, you’ll find information about financial abuse, strategies for recognising financial abuse and direction to resources that may be helpful to support your recovery. It may also help you to have a conversation with someone who you think might be in a financially abusive relationship

Download the guide

The impact of coronavirus on domestic and family violence

Data shows that domestic and family violence increases in times of disaster and the coronavirus pandemic has specific risks that could contribute to this escalation. This includes isolation with a violent partner, financial instability, stress and being cut-off from family or community support. Our fact sheet explores the impact of coronavirus on domestic and family violence.

Download the fact sheet

Helping older people avoid scams, fraud and abuse

Elder abuse can take many forms and happen to anyone. It occurs when a trusted person misuses their position or causes financial harm to an older person. Our Safe and Savvy guide is a resource which can help older people avoid scams, fraud and abuse.

Download the Safe and Savvy guide

Partnering with experts

We will continue to partner with leading domestic and family violence experts and other community organisations to support Australians affected by financial abuse. Our current partners include:

Support for our customers

We offer support to our customers affected by domestic and family violence. This includes letting you know what you can do if you’re experiencing financial abuse (PDF).

You can call a Community Wellbeing specialist on 1800 222 387 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday (Sydney/Melbourne time – excluding public holidays).

Discover more about our domestic and family violence assistance

Things you should know

1 2016 Personal Safety Survey, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017

2 Adams et al (2008), Development of the Scale of Economic Abuse, Violence Against Women, vol. 14, No. 5; Evans, I. (2007), Battle-scars: Long-term effects of prior domestic violence, Centre for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, Monash University; Sharp, N. (2008), What’s yours is mine: The different forms of economic abuse and its impact on women and children experiencing domestic violence, Refuge.