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Family violence banking help goes national

A banking program supporting family violence victims tackling financial abuse will be rolled out Australia-wide.

The Commonwealth Bank's domestic and family violence emergency assistance program offers help such as independent specialist trauma counsellors, financial assistance, safe establishment of bank accounts and telephone support to ensure appropriate communication with family and friends.

"We know that financial abuse can impact the long-term financial wellbeing of our customers, particularly women, and our focus on financial education and supporting our customers in crisis is one way we can help," chair of CBA's domestic violence working group Catherine Fitzpatrick said.

"Having help to access and manage your money gives people choices and, especially for those in violent relationships, can literally mean the difference between life and death."

It started as a pilot in November but on Sunday the CBA announced it would be extended due to demand, handling 87,000 calls in its first month helping 6000 customers to date.

Nearly 95 per cent of those helped have been women, with half of them aged between 22 and 35 and a third between 35 and 50.

CBA is stumping up more than $18 million towards prevention and support programs and on top of the emergency assistance program, it is funding education initiatives and training staff across the country to identify and support possible victims of family violence.

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