Escaping violence? Wait 28 business days


Today in Estimates we learned that women are being forced to wait an average of 28 business days to access the Government’s $5,000 Escaping Violence Payment, the majority of which is as vouchers – an approach initiated by the Morrison government and retained by Labor.

Lines attributable to Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson for women, Senator Larissa Waters

“For too many women, economic insecurity is a significant barrier to escaping an abusive relationship. Many are forced to choose between staying in a violent home or escaping into poverty and homelessness.

“To learn that women are waiting 28 business days to receive the Government’s $5,000 Escaping Violence Payment is shocking. Victim-survivors do not have 28 business days to decide whether to leave an abusive relationship, they need immediate support to ensure their safety.

“The fact that these payments continue to be provided as predominantly vouchers ($3,500) is patronising and cruel, adding unnecessary anxiety for women already dealing with the stress of leaving a violent situation.

“While it is good to hear that the Department of Social Services are undertaking research to determine this model of payment, reporting isn’t due until June 2023. So that’s 28 business days for vouchers now, and at least a year before anything changes."