BNZ has partnered with other organisations in the industry to launch a banking team that supports domestic and economic abuse survivors.
The new domestic and inter-partner violence programme, developed by BNZ with the help of expert academics and support organisations, will be up and running in the next two weeks.
However, it will only be accessible on referral from support organisations to allow BNZ to give specialised assistance that fits into other organisations' support given to survivors.
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Kate Daly, the chief people officer of BNZ, noted New Zealand's terrible record on domestic and inter-partner violence.
“People in these situations are extremely vulnerable, their lives are turned upside down, and all the things many others rely upon like their family, jobs, friends – as well as access to the basics like food, shelter, and their money – may be being impacted,” Daly said.
“They have complex needs and need the best support we can offer. We are working with other expert support organisations, like Women's Refuge to make sure that they are talking to a specialist who understands what is going on and help them get what they need.”
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Money's role in domestic and economic violence often goes below the radar but has a significant impact, according to Daly.
“Abuse through money and economic resources can create financial instability and make someone dependent on an abuser. It can be easy to become trapped and experience even more harm,” Daly continued. “This kind of behaviour sadly isn't rare, and it cuts across all of society – all demographics, all socioeconomic groups, [and] all kinds of relationships.”
“Minimising harm and vulnerability requires broad work across society, from governments, social services, and from companies alike. BNZ is committed to playing its part to support victim-survivors,” Daly concluded.