Domestic violence isn’t a one-size-fits-all problem. It can manifest itself in all sorts of forms, including physical violence, emotional abuse and imposed financial restraint.
This week, Women’s Legal Service Queensland launched Penda — an app that helps empower victims experiencing financial abuse at the hands of their partner. According to the Women’s Legal Service, 80-90% of women who seek support for domestic and family violence also experience financial abuse.
While the specifics of financial abuse vary from situation to situation, it may involve limiting access to money, controlling the finances, or stopping the victim from earning.
Penda can help victims of financial abuse by providing practical information, including financial safety planning, tips to access emergency money, crisis payments, and emergency housing. The app also helps women to protect their assets in the future, and manage debt after separation or divorce.
Financial abuse survivor and financial planner Hana Nataprawira says this app would have been a godsend when she was in trouble:
“My husband was very controlling. He gave me an allowance for groceries and I wasn’t allowed to spend money on anything for myself. I didn’t know that there was all of this help out there. Penda would have made a huge difference to me.
“Now as a financial planner I see so many women who have no assets independently of their partners putting them at financial risk.
“Knowledge is power. Penda is making the right information available to women when they need it most.”
This was originally published by Cosmopolitan.
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