This is not right!
A domestic violence survivor is now fighting so that other victims will not go through the same terrifying experience as she did.
An unnamed woman was defended by her local MP Lisa Cameron (pictured above), who appeared in parliament to urge Theresa May to change the law requiring both members to be present to close a joint bank account.
You see, this woman was told by her bank that she could not close a joint account unless she attended with her abusive ex-husband, from whom she had just escaped after being abused for two decades.
She told Buzzfeed News of the re-traumatizing occurrence:
“However, my husband had emptied the account leaving a small balance in credit and then put the account into dispute, meaning it took two signatures to change the account. He could have closed the account but then he would not have been able to have control or continue to torment me. He was arrested around the same time for assault. The bank insisted that we both needed to come down together, even after I told them he was on bail for assaulting me. This made no difference to them. Even though the account was in credit and I was prepared to forfeit the money, they still refused. They then told me it was a civil matter. I was distraught and still in shock. I was desperately trying to distance myself from him and struggled with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]. This situation just re-traumatised me. And it dragged on and on.”
For over twenty years, she faced “emotional, mental, sexual, physical, and financial abuse,” which she was able to escape thanks to the help of charity Women’s Aid.
And now, thanks to Cameron, hopefully other women won’t face the same issue.
The survivor went on:
“The bank now tell me they have a ‘vulnerable customer team’ and that if the same thing happened now I would be dealt with more sympathetically by them. I’ve asked them to advertise this department in all their branches.”
Cameron told her fellow members of parliament:
“My constituent informed me that she had been repeatedly raped and beaten by her ex-partner, requiring an injunction. Much to her horror, her bank would not close her joint account unless she attended with the perpetrator. When banks are left to their own discretion, women’s lives are put at risk. Will the prime minister ensure policy to protect survivors is included in the pending domestic violence bill?”
The Prime Minister responded:
“We want to ensure that we give proper support to all those who have been subject to domestic violence or to abuse of the kind to which you have referred.”
Change for good!
[Image via parliamentlive.tv.]