New payment to help people escape violent relationships
The Liberal and Nationals Government is now providing people in violent relationships access to support of up to $5,000 to help them establish a life free of violence.
Under the two-year Escaping Violence Payment trial, people leaving violent relationships can 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.
Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said the payments would help address the financial barriers that may stop people 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 a person’s ability to acquire and use money and makes it difficult to leave violent relationships,” Minister Ruston said.
“The new Escaping Violence Payment aims to help address those issues so people have more security when making that brave decision to leave any form of intimate partner violence – including physical violence, coercive control and financial abuse.”
“We know the size of the house a person is fleeing doesn’t matter – often they bundle the kids into the car, maybe the dog too and they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.”
Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said the Escaping Violence Payments would help people in Wide Bay who need financial support to leave dangerous relationships.
“It doesn’t matter if you are living in Maryborough, Murgon, Gympie or Noosa, people from all backgrounds can experience domestic violence,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Morrison Government is absolutely committed to ending domestic, family and sexual violence and this new program is part of a record $1.1 billion investment in improving safety.”
As part of the individualised support packages, UnitingCare Network agencies will provide tailored assistance and engage with other relevant agencies that support parents and their children including other Commonwealth or state and territory government funded community services.
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.
Applications for the payment can be made through UnitingCare Network. More information will be available at unitingvictas.org.au/escaping-violence-payment
The Escaping Violence Payment will build on and complement existing programs offered by state and territories, as well as Australian Government support offered to people experiencing violence, including:
- 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.
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