Restoring Financial Safety

Our Restoring Financial Safety project (the Project) culminated in a partnership with McAuley Community Services for Women, a provider of family violence crisis accommodation and support services in Melbourne’s west, to achieve extraordinary client outcomes. In just four months, we:

  • prevented escalation of legal and financial problems arising out of family violence through early intervention;
  • provided holistic legal and financial counselling support to 24 victim/survivors with the complex processes and laws related to family violence; and
  • saved our clients over $100,000.

We executed the Project through the following five steps:

STEP 1: We began by working extensively with industry (regulators, peak associations, ombudsman schemes and many large/top-tier companies) on improving the understanding and responses to family violence.

STEP 2: We brought together a reference group of key organisations to share information and collaborate on economic abuse issues . That group evolved into the Economic Abuse Reference Group and is supported by the Victorian Government. 

STEP 3: We created Financial Security Checklists for financial counsellors and support workers to use with their clients, that contain protocols agreed to by industry champions. These checklists have also been adapted into national resources by Financial Counselling Australia.

STEP 4: Twenty-six community organisations and top-tier companies joined a pilot to test whether family violence protocols led to improved financial security for victim/survivors. We used our pilot’s learnings to change our approach and develop the McAuley partnership.

STEP 5: The McAuley partnership was the final step in the Project. It is an effective model of economic abuse casework service delivery because it allows us to:

  • reach clients earlier in the cycle of their legal and financial issues to prevent escalation;
  • provide holistic legal and financial counselling support to complement the family violence, emotional, employment and housing support services provided by McAuley – meaning we can resolve more of the issues to help clients regain financial security; and
  • provide space, time and emotional support for clients to work through complex and multiple issues.

Restoring Financial Safety was generously funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

A copy of the final project report, Restoring Financial Safety: Collaborating on Responses to Economic Abuse can be accessed here.

Phase 3 of the Restoring Financial Safety Program has involved continuing the partnership established with McAuley to scale up the program for a further two years between 2018-2021, including to a new site. Phase 3 also involved a large body of systemic advocacy for change to government and industry responses to economic abuse. In just over two years we were able to assist over 130 women to resolve close to one million dollars of financial and legal problems. A copy of the phase 3 report Restoring Financial Safety: The Transforming Financial Security Project can be found here.


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WE are located

  • Footscray
  • Werribee
  • Sunshine

Level 1 / 72 Buckley Street, Footscray VIC 3011

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-1.00pm and 2:00pm-5:00pm. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)

Please call us to get legal help (appointment time needed).


Level 1 / 8 Watton Street, Werribee VIC 3030

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5:00pm. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)

Please call us to get legal help (appointment time needed).


Visy Cares Hub, 80B Harvester Road, Sunshine VIC 3020

Tel: + 61 3 9091 8237
Fax: + 61 3 9091 8207

Office hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9.30am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-4.30pm.

Drop-in service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am-4.30pm, for people up to 25 years old ONLY.