This report spans the period from March 2016 to December 2019 and describes the work of the Economic Abuse Reference Group (the EARG), and its individual members, in influencing industry and government initiatives in the acknowledgement and response to economic abuse.
With a primary focus on the 15 recommendations from the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence (the Royal Commission) that relate to financial security and economic abuse (see Appendix A), the purpose of this report is three-fold. Firstly, the report provides an introduction to the recent context of family violence and economic abuse in Victoria. Secondly, this report examines progress with reducing the economic impact of family violence in the period from the Royal Commission’s report of March 2016 to December 2019, across the domains outlined below:
- industry and government initiatives to respond to customers experiencing family violence (i.e. what is changing);
- outcomes for victim survivors, particularly with the support of a financial counsellor, (i.e. how the changes are working “on the ground”); and
- contributions and achievements of the EARG members.
Finally, this report aims to support further work and discussions for continuing to positively influence business and government responses to economic abuse. As part of this function, the report will outline key learnings and identify areas of focus for the EARG’s future work.