The Economic Abuse Reference Group (EARG) will continue to contribute to better financial outcomes for people experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV), thanks to a grant from the Ecstra Foundation.
EARG is a network of community organisations (financial counselling services, family violence services, community legal centres and women’s services) which work together to influence government and industry responses to the financial impacts of domestic and family violence.
The multi-year funding commitment provides for a DFV expert to build on the policy work to date, to facilitate information and resource sharing and to co-ordinate input to law reform, reviews and industry policies.
Over the past five years, EARG has provided expert input to law reforms (such as tenancy laws, infringements laws and regulation of utilities in Victoria) and industry regulation and guidance (such as industry codes for insurance and banking).
These reforms demonstrate that a wide range of businesses and government bodies can have a positive impact on people experiencing economic abuse and other forms of family violence; and can help reduce the risks of further abuse.
There is much more to be done, including helping other states replicate the Victorian Government reforms . The EARG will provide guidance and feedback to the many corporate, finance, charitable and government organisations that are actively engaging in addressing economic abuse through their work and to other stakeholders that are in the early stages of developing DFV responses (such as credit reporting, toll road companies and local government).
The Ecstra grant will enable EARG to continue its policy reform agenda and to extend the EARG network nationally, including collaborating with the recently formed EARG in NSW (also funded by Ecstra).
EARG was established shortly after the release of report of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence to provide input to the implementation of recommended reforms. The network has grown from an initial five Victorian organisations, to over 20 organisations across Australia. Co-ordination of the network was funded by the Victorian Government from 2017 to August 2020.
See EARG’s report, Responding to Financial Abuse Report – 2020, for details of the reforms and the work of EARG.
Ecstra is a not for profit organisation committed to building the financial wellbeing of all Australians within a fair financial system. Ecstra works with organisations across government, community, business, education and research as part of the National Financial Capability Strategy.