Domestic violence victims offered life-saving loans
By: Good Shepherd Microfinance
Good Shepherd Microfinance has welcomed a Federal Government commitment to expand the national No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) and provide safe, affordable loans up to $2,000 to victims of domestic and family violence.
Good Shepherd Microfinance CEO Peter McNamara said 90 per cent of family violence cases also involved financial abuse.
"Women who want to leave a violent partner are often put off by the expense of finding somewhere safe to live," Mr McNamara said.
"They may not have their own income or savings, often they've been saddled with their partner's debts and don't know how they can afford to restart their lives.
"For many, it's a big reason why they can't leave an abusive relationship."
Mr McNamara said the funding would help up to 45,000 women and families by allowing Good Shepherd Microfinance to train 30 more specialist NILS workers and expand the network of community groups providing No Interest Loans.
"Our No Interest Loans will help thousands of domestic violence victims pay for all sorts of essentials like bond or rent, furniture and whitegoods, car registration or a computer so they can work, buying school gear for the kids, or covering medical bills," he said.
"They can get back on their feet without getting into crushing debt."
Victorian mother of three Donna Cleeland was pregnant when her abusive husband left her.
"I had no access to the bank accounts, no job and no money," Ms Cleeland explained.
"I had to figure out how to survive on my own, so when I got my first NILS loan, it felt like Christmas."
Donna has now used NILS several times to buy a washing machine, pay for car repairs and cover medical expenses for her children.
"I feel so grateful there's something like NILS available for people like me, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to provide for my children," she said.
Media contact: Barbara Cox, Sequel PR – 0403 090 913
NILS FAST FACTS
· 26,648 no interest loans worth $25 million provided in 2017-18
· Number of loans up 6.5% on previous year
· 66% of borrowers are women
· 40% of borrowers are single parents
· 23% of borrowers are Aboriginal
· 160 community partners offer NILS at 625 locations nationally
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN AUSTRALIA
· 1 in 6 women have been subjected to physical violence by a partner.
· 23% of women have experienced emotional abuse from a partner.
· 1.86 million Australian women have experienced financial abuse.
· 75% of partner homicides are women.
· About 72,000 women and 34,000 children sought emergency accommodation because of domestic violence in 2017.
· Indigenous women are 32 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence as non-Indigenous women.
Sequel PR, Barbara Cox