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Financial mentoring for women experiencing financial abuse

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1 Financial mentoring for women experiencing financial abuse
Tools for Change Financial mentoring for women experiencing financial abuse

2 Tools for Change Module 1: Understanding gender, power and money
Introductions, expectations and module overview Financial mentoring Women and financial disadvantage Financial security and family violence Finance – health, self-esteem and relationships Module 2: Money management tools Money management tools Budgeting Module 3: Pathways forward Managing debt Planning for the future Making referrals Evaluation and celebration.

3 Financial mentoring resources
Activities for the module Supporting information Reflective Journal Literature review Recognition of Prior Learning.

4 Group agreement What rules do we need to ensure our sessions are safe and non-judgemental spaces for learning and sharing ideas?

5 Learning styles the learning styles questionnaire helps to identify individual learning styles can assist mentors to present information in a way that best meets the needs of each mentee.

6 Learning styles Everyone has different learning styles: activist
pragmatist theorist reflector.

7 Module 1: Understanding gender, power and money

8 Financial mentoring

9 What do financial mentors do?

10 The financial mentoring process
Application and selection completed Complete the Tools for Change modules Police check successfully completed Matched with a mentee Introductory meeting between mentor, mentee and project coordinator where goal agreements established Mentor and mentee meet weekly (on average) Mentor provides regular feedback to project coordinator via agreed methods Mentor regularly enters comments in their Reflective Journal Mentor attends group training and debriefing sessions as required

11 Financial mentees … are ordinary women from all walks of life
have low financial confidence experience many barriers to changing their financial circumstances may have experienced family violence may experience health and emotional effects related to their financial insecurity.

12 Mentor/mentee relationship
A financial mentor must: practice patience and compassion focus on sharing new perspectives, ideas, options and finding exceptions to a negative money story be curious about experiences, values and life stories Ensure they are not behaving like a case worker, counsellor or personal bank.

13 Strengths-based mentoring
a strengths-based approach focuses on mentees strengths, not their deficits it places the mentee as the expert on her own life empowers the mentee ensures conversations don’t get stuck in negative retelling.

14 Strengths-based mentoring
The underlying beliefs of strengths-based mentoring include: all women have strengths and capabilities women change and grow because of their strengths, not their weaknesses women are the experts on their own situation when women recognise their strengths they can learn and grow strengths include interpersonal, intellectual and physical skills and women’s hopes, aspirations and interests.

15 Burnout Some examples: losing sleep or having disturbed sleep
being exhausted feeling negative or unable to shift a negative feeling experiencing erratic or changed eating habits talking about the mentee all the time having erratic mood swings and changes being unable to turn off from the mentee’s story wanting to loan the mentee money contacting the mentee outside meeting arrangements.

16 Self-care examples contact the project coordinator
use group support through phone or contact create a small supportive group to check on each others’ wellbeing create a closed blog.

17 Comfort zones and safety
establish boundaries think about the conversations you are prepared to have and those you are not identify your own comfort zones and maintain emotional safety remember that it is difficult, but important, to say no at times.

18 Disclosure believe don’t judge take her fears seriously
acknowledge her strengths remember that safety is a priority recognise that the perpetrator of the violence is responsible for the violence.

19 Disclosure acknowledge that each woman’s experience of violence is different be clear about confidentiality provide accurate information about referrals and resources. The way a woman is treated can make an enormous difference to outcomes and safety for her and her children.

20 Women and money

21 Financial disadvantage
On average Australian women earn 17% less than men. Women are more likely than men to work part-time or on a casual basis. Women comprise 70% of the part-time labour force and 35% of the full-time labour force. Women are more likely to take time away from work to raise children, therefore spending less time in the workforce resulting in reduced opportunities for training and career advancement.

22 Financial disadvantage
Women in the workforce are more likely to work in sectors with lower pay rates such as aged care, childcare, cleaning and retail. Women have less opportunity to contribute to superannuation because they spend less time in the workplace and earn lower pay rates. However, women live longer than men and consequently need more superannuation.

23 Financial disadvantage
In 2008, women held 34% of superannuation assets compared to men’s 66%. Centrelink Single Parent payments are reduced to Newstart once the youngest child is 8 years old. Newstart peaks at $243/week or $34.70/day (2012). In 2006, 87% of one parent families with children under 15 years old receiving the Single Parent payment were headed by women.

24 Financial security and family violence

25 Legal definition Family violence is defined as:
behaviour by a person towards a family member of that person if that behaviour – is physically or sexually abusive; or is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or is economically abusive; or is threatening; or is coercive; or in any other way controls or dominates the family member and causes that family member to feel fear for the safety or wellbeing of that family member or another person. Source: Family Violence Protection Act 2008.

26 Family violence includes behaviour that is repeated, controlling, threatening and manipulative is an abuse of power perpetrated mostly by men against women in a relationship or after separation is gendered violence is used by the perpetrator to have power and control over the victim.

27 Family violence is a fundamental violation of a person’s human rights no matter what their race or religion can include criminal behaviour harms children on many levels as witnesses and victims is unacceptable in any community.

28 Family violence in rural areas
easier access to weapons more isolated less anonymity.

29 Staying, leaving and returning
Women with economic resources are more able to end an abusive relationship, less likely to return and less likely to enter an abusive relationship. Income is the strongest predictor of leaving or staying. Financial dependency is the primary reason women do not leave and the primary reason they return. Escaping family violence often leads to poverty.

30 The impact of financial abuse
Financial and other forms of abuse often leave women without the confidence, knowledge or even paperwork required to be financially literate and financially included in our society.

31 Statistics 40% of battered women reported family violence had made them late for work more than three times in the previous month 34% reported missing whole days of work 23% reported difficulties advancing their careers 20% reported difficulties keeping their jobs. Source: Chronister et al. 2004

32 More statistics Violence to women and children cost the Australian economy approximately $13.6 billion dollars in 2009 (In 2002−2003 the cost was $8.1 billion). Source: Federal Government Initiative, Time for Action – the National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against women and their children,

33 Domestic violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged between 15−45 years old. Source: The Health Costs of Violence: Measuring the Burden of Disease caused by Intimate Partner Violence, Vic Health 2004.

34 Women are … three times more likely to be injured as a result of violence five times more likely to require medical attention or hospitalisation five times more likely to report fearing for their lives.

35 Indigenous women are … 35 times more likely to suffer family violence and sustain serious injury requiring hospitalisation than non-Indigenous women 10 times more likely to die due to family violence than non- Indigenous women.

36 Children between 50−70% of children who witness violence at home also suffer physical abuse themselves witnessing parental domestic violence is the strongest predictor of perpetration and victimisation of violence in young people’s own intimate relationships. Source: Attorney Generals Department, 2000, National Research on Young People’s Experience of Domestic Violence Fact Sheet, Canberra.

37 Key areas of concern for women
Safety Legal issues Housing Employment Social security Education Child support Bill payments and debts Health care Financial literacy

38 Financial abuse Financial abuse occurs between two adults where there is financial co-dependency. Financial abuse can take many forms, from denying all access to funds, to making [the woman] solely responsible for all finances while handling money irresponsibly himself. Money becomes a tool by which the abuser can further control the victim, ensuring either her financial dependence on him, or shifting the responsibility of keeping a roof over the family’s head onto the victim while simultaneously denying [her] ability to do so or obstructing [her]. Financial abuse can have serious and long-term effects on women and children experiencing it. Women and children can become trapped in a cycle of poverty, they can experience physical and psychological ill health, isolation and feeling that they can’t escape from the abusive relationship. Source: Welsh Women’s Aid, <>.

39 Consequences of financial abuse
reduced financial confidence, knowledge and skills due to limited experience long-term financial insecurity resulting from erosion of financial resources and loss of opportunities to increase income through education and employment homelessness due to lack of financial reserves and having to leave the family home. Source: Commonwealth of Australia, Sanders et al., 2007

40 Positive responses to whether they were or had …
Before meeting the abuser Whilst with the abuser After leaving the abuser Undertaking education 37% 18% 30% In paid employment 47% 16% Receiving benefits 51% 84% Savings 20% Loan/credit card/ overdraft 12% 39% Rent arrears 33% 55% Other debts 8% 41% Source: Refuge, 2008, Sharp, Nicola, What’s yours is mine The different forms of economic abuse and its impact on women and children experiencing domestic violence, <>. 40

41 Economic Abuse Wheel 41

42 Financial dependence Person A is financially dependent on person B if A relies on B for regular financial support. A does not have to be totally financially dependent on B, but the financial dependence does have to be significant. Source: Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, <>.

43 Financial security means different things to different people.
Financial security is one of the most significant factors in long-term healing and moving on for victims of domestic violence. Financial security means different things to different people. Financial security is having enough to get by and a means of empowerment to regain a sense of self and agency. Source:

44 Finance − health, self-esteem and relationships to money

45 Finance − health, self-esteem and relationships to money
Worrying about money: is the main source of stress for most people affects people’s health.

46 Finance − health, self-esteem and relationships to money
increased stress and potential risk of heart attack low self-esteem relationship tensions poor sleeping habits poor general health depression and anxiety.

47 Relationships to money
Relationships to money and how people use money are individual, complex and influenced by factors such as values, socio-economic position, mood and culture.

48 Next module Spending Diary Reflective Journal.

49 Module 2: Money management tools

50 Financial goals

51 Types of debt contractual government debt
loans from family and friends relationship debt.

52 Relationship debt A result of pressure from a partner or friend and where the person signing the contract derives no benefit from the debt. It is basically an unjust debt where the person acquiring the debt may act through emotions such as affection, intimidation, or fear of the other person. Examples: a boyfriend pressuring his girlfriend to buy him a slab of beer/a new phone/new computer or new TV, If you really love me you will buy me this, or her going guarantor for his car loan male secretly gambling away couples combined income woman being coerced into or unwittingly defrauding Centrelink and then being held responsible for that debt when the relationship breaks up.

53 Signs of unmanageable debt
using cash advances on a credit card or taking payday loans paying minimum payments on bills borrowing money to pay household bills being behind on rent or mortgage payments getting new credit cards to pay old debt changing utility companies to avoid getting services cut off.

54 Prioritising debts highest interest consumer debt
short repayment periods.

55 Goals Setting goals helps women to: become financially secure
save for the future reduce debt take control of their future.

56 Setting achievable goals
W When? I Is it feasible? S Specifics e.g. cost? H How can it be achieved?

57 Getting assistance working with a financial mentor
going to a financial counsellor or financial counselling service paying a financial advisor.

58 Financial counsellors
provide a free, confidential and independent service assist people to: organise finances and do a budget find ways to improve their financial situation  see if they are eligible for government assistance  negotiate repayment arrangements with creditors apply for a hardship variation explain options and their consequences, including debt recovery procedures, bankruptcy and other alternatives  refer people to other services e.g. a gambling helpline, family support, personal counselling or community legal aid.

59 Financial counsellors
Assist with advice about: debt management threatening letters or harassment from debt collectors debt recovery actions through the courts  house eviction, disconnection of utilities such as gas, electricity, phone   uninsured car accidents taxation debts unpaid fines.

60 Websites Devil’s Advocate
Salvation Army Shark Watch

61 Financial advisors investment advice pension planning
Provide financial services to individuals, businesses and governments including: investment advice pension planning insurances i.e. life, income protection, critical illness mortgage advice.

62 Short-term and long-term financial goals
saving for a major purchase e.g. own home, holidays providing for children’s education e.g. school excursions saving for later in life e.g. old age meeting monthly bill payments e.g. energy bills reducing debt e.g. making credit card repayments.

63 Prioritising goals and strategies
prioritising helps with focussing on the main issues timelines can change but the goal can remain e.g. illness goals and strategies should be reviewed.

64 Budgeting

65 Useful resource ASIC Money Management Kit available at: Search: money management kit

66 Spending leaks Did anyone find that they only spent what they anticipated they would spend for the week? Did anyone find that they spent money on extra things they hadn’t expected? Did anyone buy a cup of coffee?

67 Buy one coffee five days/week @ $3.50
Weekly total: $17.50 Yearly total: $910.00 A spending leak – regular small purchases that add up to significant amounts of money over a longer period of time.

68 Spending diary Tool to help: track spending
see where costs are occurring analyse spending see opportunities for reducing costs make decisions about future spending and saving create a budget.

69 ASIC Money Smart Excel budget planner at:
Budget planning tool ASIC Money Smart Excel budget planner at:

70 Centrelink Financial Information Service
helps people make informed decisions about investment and financial issues for their current and future needs. it can: increase your confidence in dealing with your investment-related financial issues help you understand your own financial affairs inform you of your options alert you to the levels of risk of each financial product type explain the roles of financial industry professionals help you be discerning when choosing experts and show you how to use expert information explain the advantages of reducing personal debt help you use credit in a sensible way encourage you to increase your savings and plan for the future help you plan effectively for your retirement show you how you can maximise your overall retirement income. Website:

71 Child Support Agency Assists separated parents with information, payments and support such as: Child Support Agreement Child Support Assessment Child Support Online Services (CSA online) Child Support Payment Child Support Referral Services Child Support for Parents of Children Living Outside Australia Website:

72 Centrepay Free service that allows customers to pay bills via regular deductions from their Centrelink payments Many organisations offer Centrepay as a bill-payment option for costs, including: private rent (including community housing) telecommunications electricity, gas, and water education fees and expenses ambulance child care home care services rental of household goods medical services and equipment Website:

73 National Council for Single Mothers

74 Victorian concessions
Concessions for: communications disability energy financial and welfare hardship health rates and property recreation motor vehicle and transport water MoneyHelp Home owner and renter support Disability financial support Financial crisis support.

75 Dear Pam Thank-you for my new school clothes. They are brand new and they look good. My new school uniform looks great! The clothes look good on me and keep me warm. The shoes are awesome! Source; State Schools’ Relief provides disadvantaged Victorian students with new school wear and attire only responds to requests from principals, assistant principals and welfare coordinators parents or carers who are struggling financially to provide for their child's government education should make an appointment with the school principal or assistant principal/welfare coordinator to discuss their issues.

76 Module 3: Pathways forward

77 Managing debt Managing debt is one of the most complex and stressful areas of money management for women with financial problems.

78 Responses to dealing with debt
refinancing selling assets borrowing from family and friends consolidating debt increasing income decreasing expenditure making smaller repayments declaring bankruptcy getting government assistance doing nothing/leaving town contacting support agencies for help with food and energy bill payments seeking a moratorium for making payments

79 Managing debt ASIC MoneySmart Managing debts webpage making repayments
trouble with debt problems paying your mortgage dealing with debt collectors consolidating and refinancing debts borrowing basics saving money on credit cards.

80 Managing debt

81 Managing debt


83 Credit cards Disadvantages include: high cost of credit/interest rates
ease of getting into debt difficulties that arise if minimum payments aren’t made temptation to use a credit card to pay an existing debt.

84 Payday and fringe lenders
typically make loans to people excluded from the mainstream personal credit organisations such as banks and building societies payday lending is advancing money next payday in exchange for a fee/interest rate of approximately 48% fringe lenders typically provide smaller personal loans up to $5,000 in exchange for a fee/interest rate around 48% for periods up to one year.

85 Consumer lease contracts
hiring an item (for example, a home computer or television) over a period of time making regular rental payments (usually monthly) plus fees and charges until the term of the contract finishes. not automatically owning the item at the end of the lease period usually paying more − total lease payments always add up to more than the cash purchase price of the item.

86 Credit ratings based on a person’s history of borrowing and making repayments have an impact on a person’s future capacity to borrow money.

87 Scams Examples Examples chain letters and pyramid schemes
dating and romance schemes charity scams job and employment scams spam s and unwanted telemarketing calls investment scams superannuation scams banking and credit card scams money transfer requests lotteries and fake prizes

88 No interest/low interest loans
No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS©) StepUp AddsUp Saver Plus.

89 Consumer rights Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has produced an online handbook listing 1600 private, community and government organisations that offer consumer and business complaint-handling services e.g. financial hardship services, dispute resolution services, consumer protection services Website:

90 Dishonour fee This week I had two dishonour fees of $45 each because every time I went shopping the bank debited the wrong account. I went back to the bank and the girl said ‘You should have told us’. I said ‘Aren't you going to give me back my $90? – that is really not fair!’ I got home and I rang the Ombudsman then the bank said ‘We are sorry, within half an hour the money will be in your account.’

91 Planning for the future

92 Keeping paperwork household bills receipts and dockets
banking records and correspondence (including anything to or from the bank) superannuation benefit statements and other documents that come from a superannuation fund product disclosure statements, dividend statements and certificates that apply to any investments employment records contracts insurance records.

93 Wills a will is a legal document that states how a person’s assets are to be distributed when they die and who is responsible for carrying out these wishes advice and assistance is available from: State Trustees ASIC MoneySmart website Victoria Legal Aid community legal aid services solicitors.

94 Powers of attorney Powers of attorney are legal documents that state who is responsible for making decisions for a person if they are unable to make their own informed decisions Types: Enduring Power of Attorney (financial) Enduring Power of Attorney (medical treatment) Enduring Power of Guardianship General Power of Attorney.

95 Powers of attorney Information about preparing powers of attorney:
Public Advocate’s website ASIC MoneySmart website Victoria Legal Aid.

96 Funerals there are a number of options for people wishing to make arrangements for paying for their funeral before they die; however, not all the options are financially wise decisions MoneySmart webpage Paying for your funeral ( (Search: paying for your funeral).

97 Making referrals

98 Making referrals What support services are available for you to refer mentees to?

99 Women’s Health Goulburn North East
57 Rowan Street Wangaratta VIC 3677 Phone: Fax: Web:

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