Domestic and Family Violence

Domestic & Family Violence happens when one person in a relationship uses violence or abuse to control the other person. It is usually an ongoing pattern of behaviour aimed at controlling a partner through fear.

Abuse can include the following:

  • Psychological and emotional abuse;
  • Intimidation and controlling behaviour;
  • Verbal abuse;
  • Stalking and harassment;
  • Physical abuse including damaging property;
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Social abuse;
  • Spiritual abuse;
  • Financial abuse.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is a form of Domestic & Family Violence that prevents a person from becoming financially independent. It is about power, control and manipulation of an individual, and often occurs with other forms of violence.

Some common forms of financial abuse include:

  • Someone being forced to take on debt they don’t want;
  • Withholding or threatening to withhold a reasonable amount of money;
  • Stopping access to money so the other person can’t leave the relationship;
  • Transferring the house or other assets out of the person’s name;
  • Trying to damage a person’s credit rating by not paying debts;
  • Controlling behaviour that denies a person the ability to work or study;
  • Preventing a person from taking part in decisions regarding a joint property;
  • Fraudulently using another person’s details to obtain credit.

How we can help

If you are experiencing Domestic & Family Violence and/or financial abuse, we are here for you. It takes courage to talk openly about your situation. We will provide you with confidential support to help you with your banking needs.

We can help by:

  • Setting up a new bank account in your name only;
  • Updating address details to keep your location confidential;
  • Updating your mailing preference so all correspondence is issued via email;
  • Changing passwords and PINs;
  • Assisting you to access financial and personal counselling;
  • Providing financial hardship assistance.

We have put together a Domestic & Family Violence Customer Resource Guide to help support you if you are experiencing financial abuse as a result of domestic & family violence. You can also request a copy to be printed for you at your local branch.

Financial Hardship Assistance

If you are concerned about your financial position and/or ability to meet financial commitments as a result of domestic & family violence, the BOQ Customer Assistance Team may be able to assist. You can contact the team directly on 1800 079 866 or apply for financial hardship online here.

Assistance may include options such as:

  • Interest Only payments for an agreed period;
  • Extending the term of your loan to reduce your payments;
  • Temporarily postponing payments;
  • Clearing arrears by combining existing arrears with the total loan amount.

Support Services

There are several specialist services that can help you if you are experiencing Domestic & Family Violence and/or financial abuse.

If there is an immediate threat to your safety call emergency 000.

1800RESPECT

The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral services. Visit 1800RESPECT or call 1800 737 732, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Lifeline

Provides Australians experiencing a personal crisis with 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services, call 13 11 14 or visit Lifeline.

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Australian Childhood Foundation

Counselling service for children and young people affected by abuse. Visit Australian Childhood Foundation or call 1800 176 453.

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Mensline Australia

A national telephone and online service, supporting men and boys who are dealing with family and relationship difficulties. Visit Mensline Australia or call 1300 789 978.

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Ask Izzy

Mobile website that connects people in crisis with nearby services, such as housing, food and specialist support. Visit Ask Izzy.

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National Debt Helpline

You can talk on the phone to a financial counsellor from anywhere in Australia, 9.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Visit National Debt Helpline or call 1800 007 007.

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Centrelink

Financial support services such as crisis payments, family assistance, housing assistance, rent assistance, parenting payments and related benefits. Visit Centrelink or call 136 150 (Families) or 132 850 (in an emergency).

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Women’s Legal Service Australia

Provides face-to-face legal advice through outreach services and runs a partnership to provide family law advice through Family Relationship Centres. Visit Women’s Legal Service Australia or call 1800 957 957.

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National Association of Community Legal Centres

An independent not-for-profit community organisation that provides legal services to the public, focusing on the disadvantaged and people with special needs. You can locate state based community legal centres according to your needs and location. Visit NACLC and search by postcode.

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Protecting Your Finances

If you’re experiencing financial abuse, there are ways to keep your finances safe. There are steps you can take before you make your intention to leave known to your partner, and after you’ve left, to help secure finances for the future.

We’ve published a blog which includes details of where you can go to get help, as well as tips to protect your finances and achieve financial independence if you are experiencing abuse.