Women Escaping Domestic Violence To Receive $5K Payment — Here’s What To Know

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Content warning: This article discusses domestic violence in a way that may be distressing to some readers.
Women and children leaving a violent relationship will have access to a one-off support payment of $5,000 from Tuesday, October 19.

What Is The Payment Used For?

Under the federal government's two-year Escaping Violence Payment trial, women will receive up to $1,500 in cash, and the rest will be available for goods and services or direct payments of bonds, school fees or other support essential to help establish a safe home.

The payment will not be considered taxable or reportable income and will not impact any other social security payments a recipient may be receiving.

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Who Is Eligible?

Domestic violence can take forms in various ways and isn't necessarily straightforward to 'prove' to authorities. The government has said in this situation, eligibility for the payment 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."
The UnitingCare Australia Consortium has been selected as the service provider to deliver the payments and will also help women to engage with other helpful services.
On its website detailing the Escaping Violent Payment, the community services organisation said the pilot program will be available to anyone who is experiencing violence from their partners that could be any of the following:
- Physically, verbally or sexually abusive
- Emotionally, spiritually or psychologically abusive
- Economically abusive
- Threatening, coercive, or seeks to control or dominate the other person
“The UnitingCare Network has extensive experience supporting victim-survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence and staff would leverage that knowledge to provide a wrap-around service for women and their children," said UnitingCare Australia National Director Claerwen Little.
“We believe that all people, especially women and their children, have the right to live freely and without fear, and this payment is an important step forward to ending violence against women and their children."

Domestic Violence In Australia

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The $144.8 million Escaping Violence Payment trial was announced back in May as part of the federal government's $1.1 billion women’s safety package in the 2021-22 Women’s Budget Statement.
The stats around domestic violence in Australia are devastating. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in six women in Australia experience partner violence compared to one in 17 men.
Experts say domestic violence has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia last year. Results of a Queensland University of Technology Centre study released in June revealed an increase in demand for support from domestic family violence (DVF) agencies. The findings were based on a survey of 362 DVF agencies and individuals across Australia from early June until the end of August 2020.
If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual or domestic violence and is in need of support, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Service

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