Supporting women on temporary visas experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence

The Morrison Government continues to support women and children on temporary visas who are experiencing family, domestic or sexual violence.

In March last year the Government committed $10 million to trial the Temporary Visa Holders Experiencing Violence Pilot for one year and in the 2021-22 Budget we committed an additional $10.3 million to extend the pilot for a further year to ensure that we could get a clearer picture of the demand for services from temporary visa holders.

Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said we know that women on temporary visas may face specific challenges in seeking support for family and domestic violence.

“Under the two year pilot, the Australian Red Cross is receiving $13 million over two years to deliver direct financial assistance to women on temporary visas up to the value of $3,000,” Minister Ruston said.

“Nine Community and Women’s Legal Centres are also receiving $7 million over two years to help women on temporary visas experiencing violence access legal assistance and migration support.

“The legal support component of this program is vital because we know perpetrators use threats around visa status to control and intimidate.

“Service providers, including the Australian Red Cross can refer eligible women to the legal services to receive migration and legal advice.

“Since the pilot commenced in April last year the Australian Red Cross has provided support to more than 1000 individuals and their families, supporting them into secure housing and allowing them to access financial support and services to put food on the table, pay rent and establish a life free from violence.

“We have heard many positive stories from people supported by the Pilot including one woman with a young child who was experiencing abuse from her partner who closely monitored her movements and controlled the household’s finances.

“She was put in contact with a counselling service which could communicate with her in a safe way, supporting her to access safe and secure housing through a refuge and set up her own bank account where she could receive financial assistance from the Red Cross.

“We will continue to ensure that no matter what a woman’s visa status may be, she is able to access help and support when needed, to stay safe from violence and abuse.”

For further information on the pilot visit: Family and Domestic Violence Financial Assistance Program | Australian Red Cross

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au.