Dozens of additional centers dealing with family violence will receive assistance through the “Financial Availability Covenant” initiated by the Banking Supervision Department
Within the framework of the continuous monitoring of the implementation of the “Financial Availability Covenant”—a voluntary covenant that assists with easing the financial dealings of women who have been violently abused and who are living in shelters and in halfway houses—the Supervisor of Banks visited a shelter in the Jerusalem area for women who have been violently abused, with the goal of closely following the implementation of the covenant in the field and to provide an update about the expansion of the pilot program for additional assistance provided to families across the country. Since it was launched, the covenant has assisted with solving various financial problems for more than 1,200 women, who for the most part were forced to escape from their house and an abusive spouse, without any assistance or means. These women find it difficult to properly manage their finances and to turn to a new page in their lives, and this initiative helps with that and works with them in an individualized manner.
Supervisor of Banks Mr. Yair Avidan said, “Violence against women is a phenomenon that must be rooted out and we must all join together in dealing with violence and all of its ramifications. The banking system is an integral part of the socioeconomic fabric in Israel and therefore the assistance with financial issues it provides to women who are victims of violence is very important. Such assistance includes providing an immediate and creative response. The marked increase in the scope and severity of cases of violence against women during the coronavirus period requires us and the banking system to further enhance our involvement and the assistance provided to these women within the framework of the covenant, and the expansion of the pilot program is a reflection of this. I thank the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services, and the Women’s Spirit nonprofit organization for their collaboration in expanding the pilot, I commend the Association of Banks in Israel on leading the issue, and the financial system for implementing the covenant and for the ongoing assistance to victims of violence in shelters and in centers.”
In 2016, the Banking Supervision Department formulated, together with the Association of Banks in Israel, all the banks, credit card companies, the Postal Bank, and with the collaboration of Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services and the nonprofit organizations that operate the various shelters, a voluntary financial covenant to assist women who are victims of violence—a financial availability covenant—with the goal of assisting in reducing economic violence against women who have been victims of violence and who are staying in shelters and in halfway houses, through providing financial solutions adjusted to the needs of those women.
Within the framework of the continuous following up of the implementation of the covenant in the field, there is a close connection between the contact persons in the shelters and centers for dealing with violence in the family and the contact persons from the financial system, the Association of Banks in Israel and representatives of the Banking Supervision Department, and once a year there is a tour of a shelter with the participation of the Banking Supervision Department and the Director General of the Association of Banks in Israel, in order to be updated on the implementation of the Covenant, to raise broad issues that required continued handling and response and to examine expanding it to other areas.
During the visit to the shelter for women who are victims of violence, managed by WIZO in the Jerusalem area, with the participation of Association of Banks in Israel CEO Mr. Eitan Madmon and WIZO Israel Chairperson Ms. Ora Korazim, Ms. Korazim noted that the Banking Supervision Department’s commitment to assisting women who are victims of violent abuse is critical to their survival and helps in returning their confidence and respect, and she thanked the Banking Supervision Department, the Association of Banks in Israel, and the financial system for their brave partnership in eliminating violence toward women. As part of the visit, the Supervisor of Banks announced the expansion of the pilot program being carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services and the Women’s Spirit nonprofit organization, in which assistance is given within the framework of the covenant to victims of violence being dealt with in the community. This means that the contact people from the banks and credit card companies will also provide a response to the thousands of the people in about 60 centers for dealing with violence in the family across the country, and will help them solve financial problems deriving from the effects of the economic violence they experienced.