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19th Oct 2021

Domestic abuse survivors offered $5,000 to help leave abusers in Australia

Sarah McKenna Barry

According to statistics, one in six Australian women have experienced domestic violence.

The Australian government has announced a new initiative that distributes one-off payments of $5,000 (€3,202) to survivors of domestic violence to help them leave their abusers.

The scheme, which is open to all genders, kicks off today, The Mandarin reports.

The payment includes $1,500 in financial assistance, while the remainder constitutes payments that go towards rental costs, school fees and essential goods and services required to set up a safe home.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that one in six women have experienced domestic violence, while one woman is murdered by their partner or former partner every week.

Speaking on the initiative, Australia’s safety minister Anne Ruston said: “The payments will assist people who need financial support to leave.

“We know the size of the house a woman is fleeing doesn’t matter – often she bundles the kids into the car, maybe the dog too and they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their back.”

While the one-off payment scheme has been welcomed by some as a step in the right direction, others feel that more needs to be done to tackle domestic violence in the country.

For instance, Mary Crooks, the executive director of the Victoria Women’s Trust said that Australia’s “blokey” culture must be addressed. Ms Crooks added that it’s important to ask why the survivors of domestic violence tend to be the ones that have to leave the home, as opposed to the perpetrators of abuse.

She said: “There is a big moral and ethical and policy issue here. Why does she have to further go through that extraordinary trauma and dislocation to her life when she hasn’t, in fact, been the one perpetrating the harm?

“Why does she have to be the one to pick up the kids and pets quickly, and possibly not be able to get a place in a refuge?”

If you have been affected by any of the details of this article, you can contact Women’s Aid’s 24 hour helpline on 1800 341 900 and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 77 8888.