What is the escaping violence payment?
Under the two-year Escaping Violence Payment trial, the Federal Government will provide women leaving violent relationships a one-off payment of up to $5,000 to assist women and children safely leave violent households and establish a life free from violence. The scheme aims to address the financial barriers that prevent women from leaving violent relationships, particularly for women who may be experiencing economic and financial abuse by an intimate partner.
Why do we need it?
On average NSW Police report responding to over 140,00 domestic and family violence incidents each year. One in six women in Australia experience violence from an intimate or former partner and on average one woman is killed every nine days by a current or former partner. Domestic and family violence is one of the most significant contributors to homelessness and financial disadvantage in women and children in Australia. For further information on family violence, you can access our information sheet on family violence here.
What expenses does the payment cover?
Under the trial, women will receive financial assistance of up to $1,500 cash with the remainder available for goods and services or direct payments of rental bonds, school fees or other living expenses to help women and children seek safety from violence. The payment is not considered taxable or reportable income and will not impact any other Centrelink payments the applicant may be receiving.
Am I eligible?
The escaping violence payment is eligible to any Australian citizen over the age of 18 who is experiencing financial stress as a result of experiencing violence from an intimate partner and is attempting to leave a violent situation.
Violent behavior includes the following:
- Physical, verbal and sexual abuse,
- Emotional and psychological abuse,
- Financial and economic abuse,
- Threatening, coercive and controlling behavior
How does it work?
The scheme is funded by the Federal Government through the Uniting Care Network who assess applicant’s eligibility for the scheme in line with the Government criteria. You do not need to be a client of Uniting Care to be eligible for the payment, however you may be referred to the program if you are already connected with a family violence service or other family support service in the community.
Women and children have the right to live a life that is free of fear of violence and abuse, applications for the escaping violence payment are currently available through Uniting Australia, a link to their website can be accessed here: Escaping Violence Payment | Uniting Vic.Tas (unitingvictas.org.au)
How long do I have to apply?
The two year trial of the escaping violence payment commenced on 19 October 2021 and will run for a period of two years. The payment is part of the landmark $1.1 billion women’s safety package arising from the 2021-2022 Women’s Budget Statement.