The Morrison Joyce Government have announced new financial assistance available to women leaving a violent relationship access to a one-off payment of up to $5,000 to help them establish a life free of violence.
Under the two-year Escaping Violence Payment trial women will receive financial assistance of up to $1,500 in cash with the remainder available for goods and services or direct payments of bonds, school fees or other support to help establish a safe home.
The UnitingCare Australia Consortium has been selected as the service provider to deliver the payments and will also support women to engage with other relevant services that support women and their children. This includes other Commonwealth or state and territory government funded community services.
Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said the payments would help address the financial barriers that may stop women leaving violent relationships.
“We know that financial hardship as well as economic abuse, which may involve interfering with work or controlling or withholding money, reduces women’s ability to acquire and use money and makes it difficult to leave violent relationships,” Minister Ruston said.
Member for Mallee, Dr Anne Webster said the payment will help to address the issues that are barriers for some victims leaving violent relationships.
“Sadly, these issues are as prevalent across Mallee as anywhere else. These payments will assist people who need that financial support to be able to leave.
“I’m proud to be a part of a government that is committed to ending domestic, family and sexual violence. This program contributes to that effort with a record $1.1 billion of investments in women’s safety.
“Women and their children have the right to live safely and free of fear. I want to see women caught in these situations being given the best opportunity to have their livelihoods, and their children’s livelihoods restored.
“This is an important step forward. As part of the individualised support packages, UnitingCare Network agencies will provide tailored assistance and engage with other relevant agencies that support women and their children including other Commonwealth or state and territory government funded community services,” Dr Webster said.
The Escaping Violence Payment is not considered taxable or reportable income and will not impact on any other social security payments a recipient may be receiving. Eligibility includes financial stress and evidence of domestic violence including, but not limited to, a referral from a family and domestic violence service provider with a risk assessment and safety plan, an AVO, court order or a police report.
• Services Australia’s Crisis Payment for Extreme Circumstances of Family and Domestic Violence
• No Interest Loan Scheme for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence
• Emergency Relief
• Keeping Women Safe in Their Homes.
The two-year trial will be independently evaluated to assess the benefit of the payment, including demand, eligibility criteria, needs of specific cohorts, and how it works with related services.
The $144.8 million Escaping Violence Payment trial is part of the landmark $1.1 billion women’s safety package contained in the 2021-22 Women’s Budget Statement.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au