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BSP launches Awareness campaign on Financial Abuse

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

BSP Financial Group Limited (BSP) launched its inaugural awareness campaign on financial abuse today (Thursday 27th October, 2022.)

Financial abuse exists in home where there is Family and Sexual Violence and the campaign aims to raise awareness on the issue. It will run for 10 days, commencing today, Thursday 27th, October and will end on Sunday 6th November, 2022.

BSP’s understanding of the various types of family violence stems from assisting staff who have formally sought help through its Group Family & Sexual Violence Policy since 2019 - being a key partner in the Bel isi PNG programme.

BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming strongly condemns violence at home. In a previous awareness on ending Gender Based Violence against women and girls campaign, he said “Our homes are meant to be the safest place however when it no longer is safe due to family and sexual violence, there is a much broader impact than just the lives of people who live in that home.”

Through the BSP CEO’s co-Chair work on Bel isi PNG Steering Committee and awareness on all FSV cases in BSP he said: “As the largest bank in the region, I believe BSP has a moral obligation to drive financial abuse awareness. We see financial abuse in most of the cases reported within BSP, yet it is challenging to recognise it. It is imperative that we share the knowledge we now have because we believe empowering survivors to be financially self-sufficient and financially independent will allow them to make safe choices and hopefully lead a life free of violence”.

“Financial abuse is perpetrated to coerce, control, sabotage, and keep survivor in line. Abusers use this form of violence to limit someone’s freedom. For a survivor financial abuse can create financial instability and make the survivor dependent on the abuser. It may vary in situation however, some common forms of financial abuse can be a partner withholding finances from day to day living expenses.  Spending money on gambling and drinking alcohol over groceries, school fees, medical expenses, limiting or removing access to bank account or joint account and monitoring financial transactions through electronic banking are other forms of financial abuse,” explained Mr Fleming.

A partner feeling entitled to money and assets they have not earned or do not own; not contributing to family expenses; limiting ones’ ability to attend training, higher education or work promotion, spends a partner’s money without their knowledge or consent and holding onto bank cards etc are other forms of financial abuse.

In line with BSP’s  internal campaign message for 2022, #Empowermenttogether -  a message that promotes gender equality to eliminate violence; Mr Fleming further said. “we feel by simply creating awareness on the various types of abuse, will immensely help those who are completely unaware that they are being abused”.

“At BSP, we have observed cases increase following targeted messaging or personal stories shared by survivors to which someone may relate to that prompts them to seek help. Through this awareness we hope survivors are able to access available support services and tools through financial literacy to attain financial independence,” concluded Mr Fleming.