Online banking is very convenient and works well for most people, most of the time. It’s easy to check balances, transactions, set up automatic payments and transfer money.
Being denied access to your finances by your partner is a form of financial abuse. Financial abuse is a way of controlling a person by restricting their access to their finances and may combine with other forms of abuse, including psychological and physical abuse. Not having access to your finances, or being questioned about every cent you spend, can make you lose confidence in yourself, question yourself and make you feel anxious.
To get some control back you may need to set up a separate, private, bank account with the help of a trusted family member or friend. It’s particularly important to do this if you plan to leave and don’t have access to your own funds.
Be careful to make sure your abuser doesn’t find out, especially if they are abusive in other ways. Contact 1800RESPECT for advice to help you leave safely.
If you think your partner may have access to your devices or somehow knows what you do on your devices, don’t use your device to set up the private account. Go into a bank branch to open the account in person. If you need to access your online account, do it using a trusted family member or friend’s device.
Find out about common scams and how to spot scams and report them at Scamwatch.
For help with the security of your devices visit the Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online website.
If you need to leave an unsafe situation contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) to make a safety plan and get support.
If you lack confidence or feel anxious, confused or low, you can seek counselling through the Australian Government’s Mental Health Plan scheme – your GP can help you. You can also call Lifeline at any time on 13 11 14.