Ending violence against women and children is a national priority. The Albanese Labor Government is funding a range of new initiatives through this Budget to help deliver the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.
Australian Governments have set a goal to end violence against women and children in one generation – to help get there, this Budget will provide $589.3 million to further support women’s safety, including implementation of the National Plan. This is on top of the Commonwealth’s record investment of $1.7 billion in women’s safety through the October Budget.
Boosting the First Action Plan
If we want to end violence in a generation, we need to invest in preventing violence before it begins, intervening early and supporting delivery of frontline services. To support this, this Budget provides:
- $8.5 million over four years from 2023-24 for initiatives aimed at early intervention to prevent DFSV, including by developing a perpetrator risk assessment framework for frontline service providers, extending the Mensline Changing for Good Service and developing a national perpetrator referral database of services to improve uptake of intervention services.
- $159 million over two years from 2023-24 to extend the National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Responses with state and territory governments and to continue to address service gaps to support frontline service delivery
- $3.3 million over three years from 2023-24 to review emergency accommodation services and their suitability for children and to conduct an independent evaluation of the 1800RESPECT service
- $33.1 million over four years from 2023-24 (and $7.6 million per year ongoing) to continue and expand nationally the Family Law Priority Property Pool program that helps separated couples achieve quick, fair and affordable settlements
- $18.4 million over four years from 2023-24 (and $5.0 million per year ongoing) to improve safety in international child abduction cases for women and children fleeing violence
- $38.2 million in funding to extend the Escaping Violence Payment (EVP) trial and the Temporary Visa Holders Experiencing Violence Pilot (TVP) until 31 January 2025.
Action on sexual violence
One in five women in Australia have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. Only 13 per cent of these women reported their most recent assault to the police.
The Government is committed to strengthening the way the criminal justice system responds to sexual assault and to prevent further harm to victims through the justice process, though:
- $6.5 million over four years from 2023-24 for the Australian Law Reform Commission to review justice responses to sexual violence and to support work with states and territories to strengthen and harmonise sexual assault and consent laws.
- $12.1 million over four years from 2023-24 to develop and distribute social media resources for young people on consent with advice from an expert advisory group, and to support community-led sexual violence prevention pilots.
Supporting women on temporary visas
For many women, their visa situation makes them especially vulnerable to family and domestic violence. To address this, the Government is providing:
- $10 million over four years from 2023-24 to expand the family violence provisions within the Migration Regulations 1994 and support visa holders experiencing domestic and family violence, including secondary applicants for permanent visa subclasses, offshore temporary Partner visa applicants and Prospective Marriage visa holders.
- These changes accompany our extension of the TVP and build on recent changes to ‘non-judicial’ evidence requirements for temporary visa holders coming forward for assistance.
Safety for First Nations Women
First Nations women and children experience unacceptably high rates of violence. That’s why the Government is investing $262.6 million over five years in this Budget to support women’s safety in partnership with First Nations communities.
The dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan is currently being developed through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Advisory Council on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence and will be in place by 1 August 2023.
The Action Plan will be supported by:
- $194 million (and $4 million in 2027-28), including funding for crisis accommodation services, Aboriginal Men’s Wellness Centres, and expansion of the successful Boys Can Girls Can campaign.
- This includes $7.8 million over five years from 2022–23 (and $4.0 million in 2027–28) to support delivery of our election commitment, to develop a standalone First Nations National Plan for Family Safety, including governance, secretariat and data arrangements.
- $68.6 million over two years to continue funding for 16 Family Violence Prevention Legal Service providers delivering critical legal and non-legal services to support First Nations victim-survivors of family and domestic violence and sexual assault.
The Government will also undertake an initial review to inform the development of a national standard for government data on lost, missing, or murdered First Nations women and children.
This funding complements our investments in improving community safety, reducing alcohol related harm and keeping First Nations women and children safe in Central Australia.
Budget investments that support women’s safety
Funding for the National Plan is complemented by a range of measures in this Budget that also support women and children:
- $134.1 million in ongoing funding for the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to continue to support Australians online, including through enhanced educational, outreach and investigatory activities.
- $57.3 million to implement the Set the Standard report and to improve the culture of parliamentary workplaces for both parliamentarians and staff.
Economic security in recovery
Too often, there is a link between escaping violence and experiencing poverty. It is critical to support women’s economic security, to enable them to safely leave violent relationships and be supported to recover.
Our targeted investments in cost-of-living relief are directed at those who need it most. We know many single mothers have experienced violence from a previous partner. Complementing the extension of the Escaping Violence Payment Trial, the Government is committing $1.9 billion to extend eligibility for Parenting Payment (Single) for single principal carers whose youngest child is aged between 8 and under 14.
Funding in this Budget also builds on our commitment through the October Budget to build 4,000 social housing properties through the Housing Australia Future Fund to provide long term housing for victim-survivors of domestic and family violence, and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.
Violence against women and children is a problem of epidemic proportions in Australia. The impact of this ripples out across families in Australia, communities and society.
Since the age of 15, one in four women and one in eight men in Australia have experienced violence by an intimate partner or family member. The most recent homicide data shows that, on average, one woman dies every 14 days at the hands of her former or current partner in Australia.
While this is unacceptable and more needs to be done to reach our goal of ending violence against women and children in one generation, it is an improvement on the previous figures of one woman dying every 10 days.
To reach the National Plan's vision of ending gender-based violence in one generation, sustained and collective action is needed across society. Generational change is required to shift societal attitudes in order to end gender based violence.
This package will assist in ensuring victim-survivors can access timely and appropriate supports.
If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, family, domestic, or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.
If you are concerned about your behaviour or use of violence, you can contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.