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One in four Aussies has experienced financial abuse

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More than a quarter of Australians have fallen victim to financial abuse, while 12% admit they know someone who has experienced or is experiencing it.

The survey of 10,000 people, commissioned by CBA and conducted by YouGov, also found that three-quarters of people could not name any support channels for people who have suffered financial abuse.

Common experiences among financial abuse victims include being forced to spend their own money on household expenses (61%); having assets hidden from them (56%); being forced to give up control of assets (55%); and having an abuser refuse to contribute financially to the household (55%).

financial abuse

Meanwhile, a report by research agencies The Lab and Nature has found that nearly half of Australians expect the coming years to be a financial struggle, while two thirds of Australians believe the coronavirus pandemic will necessitate a re-evaluation of the way we're living.

"It's clear from our research that many Australians feel like this is an opportunity for change, while others strongly believe that the world needs to return to 'normal'," says James Jayesuria from Nature.

"For many, the pandemic has led to their first taste of unemployment, a looming recession and a potential housing market crash. For some, it has led to a rise in the sense of community and connection to local neighbourhoods. For others, it has led to a reinterpretation of what matters - where we spend our time and money, what we missed and what we didn't miss."

The Lab CEO, Neale Cotton says that while the pandemic changed the lives of all Australians, but how we have reacted and how we see the future is not uniform.

"We have spent years understanding the Australian national psyche and we are seeing our belief systems being tested and new cohorts forming... We are expecting to see [different] groups change in size and shape over the next few years, leading to some potentially radical new versions of modern Australia."

If you are experiencing financial hardship you can contact Moneycare on 1800 007 007 or salvationarmy.org.au/about-us/our-services/moneycare.

For support, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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David Thornton is a journalist at Money magazine. He previously worked at Your Money, covering market news as producer of Trading Day Live. Before that, he covered business and finance news at The Constant Investor. David holds a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne.
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