On 18th July 2017, Consumer Affairs Victoria hosted a forum which was attended by about 70 industry, government and consumer representatives to share ideas about responding to family violence. Read the report from the forum here. Responding to the Financial Impacts of Family Violence Forum Report July 2017
The Commonwealth Bank has produced “Addressing Financial Abuse: A Domestic and Family Violence Community Resource Guide New South Wales.” with Domestic Violence NSW. While NSW specific, most of the information is relevant more broadly.
Australia Post now offers 12 months free mail redirection for victims of family violence.
We have raised some issues with the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) in relation to insurance problems faced by people experiencing family violence. We are pleased that the ICA have taken this seriously and will continue to engage with our members on this issue. Read more about this work here in the SMH and Insurance News article.
Read our paper here. Insurance and Family Violence
The Essential Services Commissioner, which is responsible for regulating the Victorian water industry, has worked with water businesses and the community to respond to the RCFV’s recommendation that changes be made to the industry code, and that guidelines are developed, to address issues relating to family violence and utilities.
Some of our members had significant input and we expect the final code changes to be released in April. The next stage will be the development and release of Guidelines for consultation. http://www.esc.vic.gov.au/project/water/37433-proposed-customer-service-code-changes/ Matters covered include staff training, identifying indicators of family violence, maintaining personal safety (for staff and customers) and responses to financial hardship.
In November 2016, the Australian Bankers Association (ABA) released Industry guideline: Financial abuse and family and domestic violence policies (Family Violence Guideline). Our group had the opportunity to provide input to the final document which guides banks in relation to issues such as staff training, identifying indicators of family abuse, supporting staff who have experienced family violence, and clarifying that banks can negotiate a variation of a joint agreement with just one of the parties if necessary.
In March 2017, the ABA responded to the recommendations of a review of the Banking Code of Practice (Code). The ABA accepted all three recommendations that made reference to family violence. The revised Code is likely to contain a reference to the Family Violence Guideline which will help to raise the profile of the Guideline within the banks.