Domestic Violence is often seen as physical violence but there are so many other types of violence abusers will use. Some that are very hidden indeed.
Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has discovered that customers were using their banking services to conduct abuse. Bank transaction abuse is where an abuser uses bank deposits to convey an abusive message. They deposit small amounts of money ($1 or less) with abusive messages in the transaction description. It highlights the lengths domestic violence abusers will go to abuse their victims. This is a breach of AVO conditions and can be used as proof of threats. However people experiencing domestic violence may not realise this.
CBA has introduced an Acceptable Use Policy that will refuse transactions and suspend users from online banking if it discovers its services have been used to send abuse. In a review conducted by CBA, more than 8000 customers over a 3 month period were identified as having received low-value deposits with potentially offensive or abusive messages in the descriptions of the transactions.
At Bonnie’s, we constantly see the lengths abusers will go to hurt others. It’s great to see a large business identifying one tactic of abuse and supporting customers who are experiencing domestic violence by actually taking steps to stop it. It is my hope that other banks will follow.
“Wow who would have thought to use this avenue as a means to perpetuate abuse against victims… good on Commonwealth Bank for looking into this!” Was one staff member’s response upon reading about this.
Written by Sandra, Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash