No changes planned for barriers to Escaping Violence Payment


The Department of Social Services confirmed in estimates last night that there were no plans to reconsider eligibility criteria for the Escaping Violence Payment, or the Leaving Violence Program which is due to replace it in July 2025, despite more than 17% of applicants being deemed ineligible, and up to half never receiving the payment.

Lines attributable to Australian Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women, Larissa Waters

“Restrictive criteria doesn’t help keep women safe, it forces them to stay in unsafe relationships and living situations.

“The Department confirmed last night that at least 17% of women seeking the current escaping violence payment are being rejected, but there are no plans to change the criteria.

“One of the reasons for ineligibility for the program is a lack of a safety plan to move soon - this is not an inherent skill, it should be standard practice to support women to establish one, not a reason for rejection.

“Six women killed by violence this year were allegedly murdered by their sons. Escaping violent homes is not limited to escaping intimate partners, so the payment shouldn’t be either. 

“Even though it takes an average of seven times before a woman is able to finally leave an abusive relationship, you can’t get the Escaping Violence Payment more than once within a 12 month period.

“The Department was also unable to provide details about the time women have to wait between first request for payment and actually receiving it.

“Meanwhile the Leaving Violence Program’s well-meaning referral pathways will lead to frontline services who have received no extra funding - what good is it to refer someone to a support service that is already full? 

“And we are still no closer to understanding how many women are turned away from frontline services due to funding constraints, because despite me asking for 2.5 years what’s being done to quantity unmet need, there is not even a timeframe for when a scoping project will complete.

“If the Leaving Violence Program is the best this government can do for women experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence, they aren’t taking the issue seriously.”

Senate Community Affairs Committee: ParlView | Video 2510073 (
[timestamp: 19:40-19:47]