Economic abuse

The women in battered womens’ shelters and in transitional housing are usually forced to escape from their home and from an abusive husband without any assistance or means, and it is difficult for them to manage properly from a financial perspective, to overcome the economic abuse they experienced and to open a new page in their lives. During the course of a year, approximately 750 women are in battered womens’ shelters or transitional housing.

Among the characteristics of the economic abuse experienced by these women are: taking the woman’s money, managing the woman by giving her a limited cash allowance each month, creating an atmosphere of constant threat and a feeling of economic crisis, transferring joint assets by the spouse without the knowledge of the woman, or preventing the woman from going to work.

Recognizing the need to provide assistance to this population, the banking system decided to respond to contacts it received, from the Banking Supervision Department at the Bank of Israel and from various social organizations, and to establish a voluntary banking charter to ease the struggle of battered women currently in shelters or transitional housing. The goal is to assist those women to set out on a new and independent economic path.

To date the charter has provided a solution for hundreds of women. Among the main issues for which it provided a solution are freezing a mortgage with one side’s signature, requests to exit a joint account, removing an owner from an account, opening a new account, debt restructuring, and clarifying foreclosures, cancelling queries and credit cards.

 

Principles of the charte​r

·         Appointing a contact person at each bank with appropriate training for providing a creative and rapid response to problems that arise, regardless of the location of the shelters and the location of the branches in which the womens’ accounts are managed.

·         Rapid economic handling that assists in preventing the violent husband from economically harming the abused woman.

·         Freezing the joint account and opening a new account for the abused woman.

·         Debt redistribution agreement between the woman and the violent husband.

·         Suspending Execution Office proceedings and suspending interest on arrears for a period of a year and a half.

·         Accompaniment and financial education to understand the alternatives the abused woman has.​​​​​

Banking availability for battered women​​​​​​