From WCHM’s work, we know that the majority of women leaving domestic violence in the ACT stay in their homes post crisis. Imagine finding the courage and making the difficult decision to end the violent relationship and then finding you can’t afford to pay your rental or mortgage payments or essential bills – even though you are on a reasonable income? Can you imagine having to decide whether it is better to face losing your home or not being able to pay your essential bills, or instead to resume the relationship with your violent partner because that is the ‘best’ available option?

WCHM believes that, as a community, we need to invest in solutions for those women and men who have reached a period of stability and are rebuilding their lives post-crisis, women who have made it beyond crisis but now need a hand.

That is why Women’s Centre for Health Matters and the Domestic Violence Crisis Service have been working with Deloitte, the Snow Foundation, and CARE Financial Counselling to develop a local ACT response to the need for local women (and men) who have escaped domestic violence situations and stabilised their situation, but who have immediate financial needs, and whose ability to pay at that point in time is low.

A response has been designed, and its viability as a business model proven. A micro-finance facility will aim to close the gap for the missing middle. The facility will offer one-off, no interest loans, primarily for providing some stability financially for a short term one-off need. The new micro-finance facility relies on local community donations for the initial corpus, and there are already pledges of support from the Snow Foundation, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, Price Waterhouse Coopers, KPMG, and Beyond Bank, and others are also considering pledges.

Donations to support the program will be tax-deductible, and governance processes have been set up by a Steering Committee including CARE, SERVICE ONE, and Deloitte to ensure the financial integrity and sustainability of the facility.

The Assistance Beyond Crisis (ABC) micro loan facility was launched on 20th June 2017, and will commence in 1 July 2017.  The launch and fundraising event were supported by Raging Digital and Piallago Estate and held at the Alastair Swayne Theatre, Brindabella Business Park, Canberra Airport.

We have been so privileged to work with the local businesses who have supported and contributed to the development and ongoing delivery of this important microfinance facility.  Thank you to all the sponsors and supporters! Find out more about them at www.assistancebeyondcrisis.org.au .

If you would like to know more please contact us.

Georgina Byron, Snow Foundation

Deloitte, Snow Foundation, DVCS and WCHM at the launch

Mirjana Wilson, CEO of DVCS