Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Financial abuse against spouses won't be tolerated: Hulls

Victoria has introduced new laws which could impact on Family Law proceedings

Financial abuse against spouses won't be tolerated: Hulls

Posted Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:22am AEST
Updated Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:34pm AEST

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/06/25/2284957.htm

Listen to short audio at: http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/audio/news-audio/200806/20080625-News-Clarke.mp3

The Victorian Government has introduced new laws targeting men who financially penalise their partners.

The bill introduced in State Parliament yesterday allows intervention orders against spouses who restrict the financial independence of their partners.

The Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, says financial abuse is often used as a way to control women.

"It used to be the case that family violence was considered to be physical violence only," he said.

"Well I think that this bill really challenges the pervasive attitude that family violence is a domestic matter.

"It's a crime, it needs a substantial response by the justice system, and it can take place in all shapes and sizes."

Mr Hulls says 30,000 family violence incidences are reported to police each year.

"It is a leading contributor to preventable death, disability and illness in women between the ages of 15 and 44," he said.

"So this bill improves the system of family violence intervention orders."

Mr Hulls says the key elements of the bill are that it will make it easy for victims of family violence to remain in the family home with their children which is very important, but also it defines family violence to include economic and emotional abuse.

"Family violence is found in all parts of our community, it knows no economic or social boundaries and it is a crime and it needs to be treated as a crime," he said.

The legislation also adopts the Sentencing Advisory Council's recommendation for a maximum penalty of two years' jail for any breach of intervention orders and police-issued safety notices.



Domestic Violence Victoria




Domestic Violence Victoria CEO, Fiona McCormack, says it is a positive Bill, strengthening the position of women in violent relationships.

"We're really pleased," she said.

"I think that broadening the definition of family violence within the Bill, provides a more accurate description of the sorts of behaviours that women can experience when in a violent relationship."

Ms McCormack says economic abuse against women is common.

"It's very rare a women that a women would only experience financial abuse on its own," she said.

"There's a misconception in the community that family violence is only about hitting or punching, or physical violence. But women will experience a range of different behaviours that will happen in a pattern, so it's very rare that she will experience one form of violence on its own, and economic abuse is very very common.

"We heard of a woman recently who was in the late stages of pregnancy and quite ill at home and her partner would go buy food for himself and go cook for himself and would not provide any food for her, and she had no finances of her own to go and buy food for herself."

Ms McCormack says the provisions for supporting women in a violent relationship is actually strengthened under the new legislation.

"We're having a much stronger response from police and follow up from intervention order breaches are also much more common," she said.



Reforms welcomed, but overdue: Opposition



The Opposition's Robert Clarke, says the reforms should have happened a long time ago.

"One of the things that has been concerning us is that this whole package has been extraordinarily late."

The Law Reforms Commission Report went to the Attorney General back in December 2005. We're now in the middle of 2008, the Government announced it was going to act in the middle of last year."

Mr Clarke says the Opposition does support the changes.

I think it's clearest in the cases of urgent situations where women and families are left destitute because there are sudden cut off of financial support, and you need some measures to ensure that women and children get that financial support.

He also believes there will be an issue on how the new laws will interface with the existing laws and disputes before the Family Court.

"Clearly the Family court is making decisions on the financial allocation of assets between parties, and how these laws are going to interface with that is something that's going to need to be examined.



Domestic abuse victim speaks of her previous relationship





A woman who was a victim of domestic violence, who can only be identified as Kate, spoke to ABC local radio about her experience.

"I was in a family violence situation for about five years. It was physically, emotionally and financially controlling," she said.

"It would start out with him basically taking control of all of our money and I was allocated a certain amount to be able to spend or I was actually given a credit card in his name that I had to use."

"I wasn't allowed to use cash.

"As the relationship sort of spiralled down, he would start to damage property around the house such as big screen televisions, things like that.

"As soon as he did that he would then go out and buy a bigger and better one, which of course cost money, money that we really just didn't have to spend."

Kate says she stayed in the relationship because of her financial dependency on her partner.

"At the end of the day all that I had left was the shell of a home and that was pretty much what I'd been working for all my life and my only last hope was to try and somehow retain things, and I felt that if I left the relationship then I would lose that.

"When one partner is controlling the money, it's not a two way street."

"When the abusive partner is the one who's in control of all the funds then of course that's going to limit what the other person can do," she said.


What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha

Myth Busting

"It's very rare a women that a women would only experience financial abuse on its own," she said.

WHOA - major stereotyping here….

I was never struck by my ex-husband, but left because of financial abuse, emotional abuse and lack of power in the relationship. Canvassing my social circle, this is not a rare thing at all! There is a massive social stigma to physical abuse, but not financial.

Now, let's bust some myths….

I now plenty of blokes, financially abused by their ex-partners with the mother withholding the child from spending time with Dad. This is incredibly common.

You can't have it both ways. You can't expect to be an equal partner and not contribute financially to a relationship. Yet, our society still expects men to pick up the tab. I know many many guys who have inherited an STD - sexually transmitted debt. Is that not considered financial abuse. Sure, it happens to women, but is much less acceptable. We still have this notion of men being breadwinners, higher earners and it's just not that relevant or true anymore.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Artemis, some years ago when they were introducing this into Tasmania, I openly admitted to being such and abuser on the DOTA show. I admitted that I had thrown bucket loads of cash to the ex. :)

More seriously though it is getting close to the stage where it would be just plain stupid for a male to enter into a relationship, perhaps even venture outside. I really dread what the future holds for my son.

What is financial abuse? And with whose money?

Artemis said
I was never struck by my ex-husband, but left because of financial abuse, emotional abuse and lack of power in the relationship. Canvassing my social circle, this is not a rare thing at all! There is a massive social stigma to physical abuse, but not financial.
What do you call "financial abuse" Artemis?

What was the "financial abuse" in your case?

Whose money did it involve?  His?  Or yours?
The dictionary according to Artemis:

Financial Abuse: Restriction of access to funds be they joint and/or sole when in a marital relationship.

As mentioned on another, related thread, I gave my paycheck up, recieved an allowance, had no access to joint funds and no decision making power in how our funds were spent. Extra money required for social events was denied as this meant I would not be able to leave the house and he would not have to care for the children.

Toward the end of our relationship I was being heavily compelled to reduce work to 2 days part time.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
MikeT said
I openly admitted to being such and abuser on the DOTA show. I admitted that I had thrown bucket loads of cash to the ex.
I have an observation of someone about to be heard in court who is similarly guilty of providing excessive funds and causing his partner to develope a consuming habit. More serious is the deterioration in values which is associated with losing the worth of simple things. The excessive expectations that are longed for from court outcomes are also generated from such opulence. Withdrawal symptoms can cause unpredictability that permeate legal proceedings and add to costs.

It is of interest to see how a parent can forget to include some government payments as being income, even if it is not taxed.

A previous report of a mother needing an inordinate amount of money including funds to clean a non-existing swimming pool comes to mind. Searching the site diid not find this fascinating article. Others might be better able to find it.

The "doomed if you do" and "doomed if you don't" scenario comes to mind. The life of a commoner may not be all that bad after all?

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
yesterday at DiDs,
yet another sad story  -  after his seperation a father of three gave the house, car etc to his ex partner valued near 1mil, he left with nothing, soon after CSA got a hold of him.
He is now paying over 1/3 of his income to his ex in child support, he is living in rented accomodation swatting roaches, by the time all his expenses are paid he is left with nothing - while his ex is sun bathing and applying oil of ulan to prevent wrinkles beside the swiming pool in the mansion they both onced owned … abuse is such a dirty word.:cool:

My X was using this excuse years ago when she left her first hubby, she sighted she didn't have a bank account, though had full access to their money, claims he restricted the food shopping though they ate fast food every night, the kids didn't have enough clothes but she had plenty plus was a member of several clubs. She only took what she needed for her and the kids, enough to fill a house, he wouldn't pay for her cigarettes but paid for $5000 dollars worth of unnecessary medical work.

It can all be spin depending on the angle.

When she left me she took everything but the debt I got to keep that but it is a fair price for time with my daughter.

Happens both ways same as most things but promoted more for the benefit of women.

And yep spot on Artemis the STD takes awhile to clear up.

  
Happens both ways same as most things but promoted more for the benefit of women. said
D4E,

 There is a father well known to some moderators here and  to myself, his ex gambled his money away at the pokies, a good friend of my brother lost his house from under him due to his ex's gambling  - now both men are paying CSA and have their children held in ransom, ……. I am promoting this for the benefit of man, it is a FACT, IT HAPPENED!

Why does the law discriminate? I have seen countless posts here and in media that unrefutably, expose both genders as guilty of such sins, for goodness sake!!!!:'(



Mr Hulls says 30,000 family violence incidences are reported to police each year. said
   Mr Hull, how many of these do you think are ligitimate? Who made the allegations male or female,  well for starters you can take off the 4 false allegations my ex's have reported….POPYCOCK!

Last edit: by monaro


monaro said
Happens both ways same as most things but promoted more for the benefit of women. said
D4E,

 There is a father well known to some moderators here and  to myself, his ex gambled his money away at the pokies, a good friend of my brother lost his house from under him due to his ex's gambling  - now both men are paying CSA and have their children held in ransom, ……. I am promoting this for the benefit of man, it is a FACT, IT HAPPENED!

monaro, you are correct some of the moderators do know about the first case and what you have received is 'very selective' information that distorts the facts.

In your case the SRL-R people believed you were 99.9% right and you were not being selective.




Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I have to admit I'm a little confused by the post monaro, only because I'm not sure of core subject.

My off the cuff comment about more promotion given to womens issues even though an equal amount of men suffer the same indignities though go unrecognized, the fact that there is a subculture that climb the ladder by aligning themself with these issues to gain more media coverage.

Perhaps the fact that although this is not restricted to one specific sex that the media only promotes it as a womens issue and once again linked with victimization.

I had my own daughter held to ransom and paid the monetary fee, yet the magistrate or the system did not find this financial abuse or extortion rather the system aided it.

I realize the more things get discriminated against the more intolerance it causes but it comes down to the media promoting these things to insite conflict, and it achieves that, in time it will be promoting mens issues for the same reason, the law makers and politicians will be there self promoting by supporting the cause.

Society discriminates because it's dragging it's feet as usual, it fears change and sot of wants to sit on the fence. It still needs damsels in distress and to believe in the frailty of women.

I'm not sure what the solution is but perhaps playing the equality role may be better than playing the victims role but one thing is becoming evident whats missing these days are the heroes roles.

I have to ask.

Is it the genders role if they are promoted in this way ?
Did they all ask for this discrimination ?
Does it concern all of them ?
Are they encouraged to adopt a victims role through this promotion ?

Would we do the same ?

Do we fight through differentiating or assimilating ?

I don't know why they look through closed eyes but I do know we need the support of good people and that it's bad people who cause the problems.

If my response has offended I have not meant to, and I support and encourage many things that do indeed have some bias but as Archie would say " from little things big things grow " and we are growing we just need to use the right fertilizer, finding it may well be difficult.

I may have misread the post as well so again I do apologize.

I'm sorry after the edited and last post I am even more confused this is not a personalized affront on anyone or anything especially as I don't know the direction that is being discussed. No intention was made to diminish anyones situation.

Last edit: by D4E

Counter to discrimination

The counter to discrimination is evidence, or, the lack of it.

The appeals process allows for an accountability of judges decisions. Admittedly running an appeal is not simple, yet it is available. Should these checks and balances not address injustice the the High Court is the terminus.

When judgements are found to be in error they are often retried in parental cases, property matters can be minimaly admended. It's a long journey but if evidence is available it is the key to the just realm. Holding back evidence at a trial is not a good strategy.

Whatever the outcomes we all receive that are based in reason, if not, they are reviewable.

Considering these issues without allowing one's predjudices to overide the facts is the challenge, identifying the real issues below the generalities could be a more significant conversation.

Last edit: by verdad


What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
D4E, this is the point i am making, men need to promote also this may bring about equilibrium
    • could it be possible that the govt. does not have all the facts? if so why?  If Mr Hull is of the belief that men are financially abusive, i hope he is reading these posts BOTH MEN AND WOMEN ABUSE, PHYSICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY, and these compounding laws directed against men, simply put are unjust.

To be honest I think they do know exactly what is going in, I don't think this is about equality or fairness I think it's solely about self promotion through issues.

Aligning your self to an unfavorable cause can be akin to political suicide.

I do not disagree that mens rights need promoting but I do worry about how this is achieved.

Sometimes I look at the tactics that are used which are very confrontational and goading, they tease out aggression and spit in your face they seem to dare you to attack.

In the wings waits the Hyena ready to attack the weaker foe, the media circles waiting for an opportunity to snap at the heals.

It boils down to differing strategies with the same goal, promotion of equality.

A thought just came to mind then and it ask " Why do the Americans fight so many wars ? " Is it because without them the whole country would self implode and disappear into it's own sphincter ?    

Could the same happen in this case ?

Place of self promotion

D4E said
To be honest I think they do know exactly what is going in, I don't think this is about equality or fairness I think it's solely about self promotion through issues.
  The linkage between issues and self promotion is well identified. The path to community prominence and being a representative in government is observable.

D4E said
I do not disagree that mens rights need promoting but I do worry about how this is achieved.
It appears to me that the lobbying arises from concerns that are not always based in realities. There are unfortunately tensions in the community that cause persons to persist in taking a little more of the contrary lobby's ground. Reactionary forces arise and join the discourse. The games continue and the laws are written to adapt to what is sensed to be the values of our community. Over a long period as a society we are evolving experientialy as awareness allows identified concerns to be addressed. Men's issues and women's issues are commonly discussed from the bedrooms to the cabinet in government. When as a community all understand that working together gets results, rather than being adversarial. Rewsolution through consensus has it's advantages. This has parallels in Family Court matters.
D4E said
In the wings waits the Hyena ready to attack the weaker foe, the media circles waiting for an opportunity to snap at the heals.
  The role of the media and the lack of accountability it has is an issue of concern. When sensationalism blurs the facts for econmomic purposes the media's role is questionable. The transformation of newspapers from fact sheets to opinion tainting mediums with the associated the consequences is very concerning. The voices of the people are unheard in the static of self appointed gurus of commercial radio. Finding the facts about Paul McCartney's divorce is such a case. The judge released the judgement to ensure that an awareness of the facts were not distorted by the commentariat.

The attacks on the weak and less concious in the community by the media is further evidence of the need for the community to hold the media accountable.

D4E said
It boils down to differing strategies with the same goal, promotion of equality.
Yes, the goal is equality, in theory that is. Unfortunately personal insecurities cause people to take a little more if they can to be able to give a little back when pressed. Strategies are developed in response to injustices which are unwarranted in the begginning. A shared perspective may be vulnerable to those who would divide so as to control.

D4E said
" Why do the Americans fight so many wars ? " Is it because without them the whole country would self implode and disappear into it's own sphincter ?  
America shall not implode when they comprehend that the costs of war are eroding their own society. They exemplify how a lot of good people can be confused by those who have divided so as to use power in their own interests. The lessons that might be drawn from the US dilemma is that agression is a lose lose outcome. That parallels the outcomes for those who attend the court without a peace process and an intention to injure the other side. Alike the supposed "War on Terror" the court is a battleground for ideas. In the end truth prevails, accepting that to be so makes for a better way of being.

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
i did mention earlier in another post, that i feel like a broken record or was banging my head against a wall , through media and promotion, women(femenazis) are going from strength to strength they are pro active, tell me, what are men doing? nothing! burying our heads in the sand does not bring change, this was one suggestion, i personally brought my issue to the AG and Prime Minister, i promoted it in the interest of justice…. now if we all wrote to the AG, etc…  i would say there is a very good chance they will listen, any other suggestions?  what about batman?  I don't think so
I hope i have proven a point, i am frustrated from this bias and discrimination against men in many issues, and it seems as if this is another for the too hard basket:ninja:

monaro said
what are men doing?
At the SPCA conference the issues were discussed. This portal is an expression of the intentions of those who are doing it without making waves. The best part is that men are not alone in stiving for equality. Women are creatively contributing on behalf of this group.
Under the auspices of shared parenting, rather than the more divisive banner of men's rights, there is action underfoot. The process is being tailored to minimalise resistance as it goes forward. By arguing that it is in the interests of children that they have equal time and care from their fathers the arguments are more readily heard.
There are people proactive in the political corridors talking to those who make the decisions. Those persons monitor this portal and issues with merit will not wither if they have substance.

The role of the rest of us is to ensure that  evidence based issues are identified and that the legislators are provided with the where with all to actualise the admendments so that further polarisation does not arise.

Transforming frustrations into a convincing perspective that can create a win win situation for the politicians and the community at large may materialise a fairer society for all regardless of gender and origins is warranted. Much has been achieved, the journey to equality is perhaps still a step away along an interesting road?

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
I don't know monaro I don't think men are doing nothing although it could be said that the speed in which things happen may not be seen immediately.

I'm a great believer that it may be up to my daughters generation to reap what has been sewn from those in our community.

Like much that happens now it becomes about education and dispelling myths, perhaps going back to a time when we were ask to think on a philosophical level and discuss rationalities slowly expanding our circle.

Perhaps akin to an underground resistance educating against the totalitarianism of current accepted social conditions.

What you have done is seized an opportunity in an attempt to educate and that deserves great acknowledgment, it encourages others to use similar opportunities.

Where you aggressive when you did this shouting out your demands to be heard or where you polite ?

Does batman reach the masses as a cause to align with ??

For me personally you have no need to prove any point I understand, respect and assimilate with your thoughts I just chose a slightly different path.

My initial reaction to nearly every post I read that assaults men I take personally because they are feathering men with the same brush and I reject this notion. But then I stop and I think.

My main association is with the emotional side of mens issues, I try to help those I can to realize they need to work through their emotions before moving onto legal issues, I personally think a big part of removing conflict is to concentrate on the issues at hand and find ways around adversarial situations. Remove the frustration and it help focus on the goal.
Now in all honesty I don't know if I am any help a lot of the time because to be honest it's up to us how we deal, and there is no doubt I have made things worse or confusing for some along the way but what help them most is to stop and think and talk. This is what I think may make a difference here too. In saying this an active ingredient is also needed.

If the grass roots community who have an interest in this area can see the vision of what is trying to be achieved by parents who want this equality then perhaps that evolving society that verdad mentions can be on it's side.

With this the media will sway towards opposing conflict to sell papers and again follow towards equality in parenting causing a shift in political promotion to equilateral parental obligations and support.

Social change takes many forms of advocacy all the way from direct action to gentle inclusion and honestly I think the revolution started some years back when communication was available to be accessed through the Internet and men could start to communicate about their pains and thoughts.

I guess verdad we build that confidence through these forums and discussions, people who see the negative of direct action also support what is trying to be achieved, we have many female supporters NOT ( sorry for the poor editing on my part female supporters ) because we are trying to take away but to be made equal. Many of the dads I communicate with on the DID's forum are shattered and vulnerable but they have strength when they are heard.

Maybe thats all we are hungering for, to be heard and listened to.

verdad I think you are spot on we are fighting our own war on terror, there are enough of out there who are suffering similar complications as battle fatigue, waiting for the next bomb constantly looking over our shoulder, no sleep, living outside our bodies.

We are changing society I have no doubt of that.

Once again this was posted after verdads post, I was procrastinating as he was doing :$

Last edit: by D4E

D4E said
I guess verdad we build that confidence through these forums and discussions, people who see the negative of direct action also support what is trying to be achieved, we have many female supporters because we are trying to take away but to be made equal. Many of the dads I communicate with on the DID's forum are shattered and vulnerable but they have strength when they are heard.
When it is considered that this portal has only been two years from mere thoughts to a medium in which our conversations can be shared, the potential is only limited by a lack of committment. Direct actions are a component, more visible part of the happenings. In the end it is support from voters that give reason to political action.

It is with concern that I read of your observations about those affected by the events that are visited upon them. The fabric of our community is being stressed and the capacity of those within it are challenged by their capacity to adapt to changing circumstances. Being heard has an important place in the moments of need. Remedies can be various and when those affected are able to listen to themselves they might be able to begin a transforming process if they are ready. Empowering a person with self-knowledge from being aware of reflections in others is not always grasped.

As there is causation to reactions it is in the company of others so affected we can identify where our thoughts, speech and actions are letting us down. Self-awareness is a valuable tool. It is fascinating to observe how those who are in the court are righteous, yet something is not right, they are there with a problem. As the theme of this thread suggests abuse has many facets and it is accepted that it is not the entitlement of any one sex.  Right thinking is not a birthright, it has to be developed. Inhibiting one's self from tripping one up takes vigilence. It is not as simple as downloading an upgrade.

One of the topics of discussion at the conference was in regard to men's mental health. There have been some meaningful contributions on the portal. Resistance to changing one's way of thinking automonously arises. Awareness of how that can be observed and allowed to be more in the background has value for myself.  In time the plan to have these issues more comprehensively discussed will evolve. It can begin with a posting that could become as rich as the most informative book.

Doubting the quality of your help D4E is unwarranted. Providing an ear is no small thing, as beyond the ear is a caring soul. Perhaps the missing longing that the DID's attendees lack is sated in the presence of others? Putting down their emotions that afflict them down into a list and leaving them there until they can be advocated into plans to alleviate their causation is the counsel I share.

monaro was a quite advocate at his hearing and this was not unnoticed by the judge. His composure was perhaps a surprise to himself?

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
Perhaps my self doubt is what allows me to be objective and at the same time subjective, it is still one of the confusing trait that has been left over from a time past that allows me to consider. Perhaps it will stay for ever, I do however appreciate your kind words.

Actions as monaro has been able to achieve should be what we all aspire too on a grass roots level.
You have already made a number of active stands monaro and many who believe in the future appreciate that and applaud all who do so, you have laid a path for others to walk and all we can do is hope those others meet here and gain from the combined knowledge.

Many such news reports make it to media outlets and are discussed by self imposed social commentators who breed fear and contempt, to me educating those against selective community awareness means we need to consider that the target this is aimed at are a number of our supporters and if we segregate them through alienating as a whole we fall into the mindset of what is trying to be achieved.

One of my new catch cries when posting on DID's and referring soles to FLWG is basically that FLWG is a fantastic legal resources but DID's is the best emotional support resource so go and find legal help at FLWG but remember us and come back when you need emotional support.

Trouble is it's very hard for people to distinguish between emotional and legal, just as it to realize that the DID's forum is not the same as a DID's meeting.

In most cases people seek to find support too late, the legals are on their door and they are still in emotional turmoil. The time factor is just too short for them to accept the boundaries but they need help and support.

If only we could be there straight away things would improve I have no doubt.     
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets