Throughout the five years Sara* was married to Anton*, she was subjected to serious and repeated physical, emotional and financial abuse. While she eventually mustered the strength to leave the relationship, the repercussions of the financial abuse were ongoing.
Sara discovered that the car loan she assumed was in both names, was in fact in her name only, making her solely responsible for more than $70,000 debt. Her husband had falsified her payslips and other financial documents to secure the loan in her name, while she was not employed and was home caring for their young child.
Anton also coerced Sara into signing up for two phone contracts that he had total control over. And after the relationship ended, he continued to accrue charges on her account, resulting in Sara’s phone service being restricted. This rendered her unable to communicate with her caseworker or access critical services, such as medical care, legal advice and domestic violence support services.
Sara was eventually referred to Redfern Legal Centre, who helped her have the car repossessed and the car and phone debt waived, and her phone reconnected.
Her case highlights the importance of frontline community services, that help the thousands of women and men impacted by economic and financial abuse.
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