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Crisis loans for women and families in need

HerCanberra Team

Increasingly we are becoming aware of just how prevalent domestic and family violence is within our community.

While this violence is a complex issue, one of the critical factors for many individuals trying to escape violence is a financial one.

To better understand the complexity, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) conducted a study with women 12 months after the end of a violent relationship. The study found that the majority of those women found themselves homeless within 12 months due to finances being an issue.

The CEO of DVCS, Mirjana Wilson, has dedicated her life to working on the frontline of protecting women and families in crisis.

“The majority of women leaving domestic violence in the ACT stayed in their homes post-crisis. Can you imagine having to decide whether it is better to face losing your home or not being able to pay essential bills, or instead to resume the relationship with your violent partner because that is the ‘best’ available option?”

The idea of the Assistance Beyond Crisis (ABC) was born out of a desire to extend urgent financial assistance to women in need.

ABC provides for low to no-interest loans for people who have experienced intimate partner, domestic or family violence who are on low to medium incomes (approximately $50k to $100k).

Eligible candidates are able to borrow up to $5,000 within a reasonably quick turnaround for things such as a second-hand car, car repairs, insurances and utilities, legal, medical, dental, education and child care fees, white goods, furniture, computers and televisions or bond and rent.

The fund currently has $250,000 available to assist the ACT’s most vulnerable women and children.

The facility is managed by C.A.R.E. Incorporated and will provide the interest-free loans when many women in crisis may be unable to access other financial assistance.

Loans must be repaid over three years.

“This initiative has been worked on for a long period of time by a passionate group of people who were keen to remind our community and local businesses about the importance of investing in people locally,” Mirjana said.

“We have been so privileged to work with the local businesses who have supported and contributed to the development and ongoing delivery of this important microfinance facility. This facility is able to provide options for people, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach,” she said.

This initiative is an exciting step forward in providing women with options and security, in order that they can be safe and feel secure.

Contact the Domestic Violence Crisis Service here or call the 24-hour crisis line on 6280 0900.

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