THE federal government says it will provide immediate financial assistance to women who “make the brave decision to leave a violent relationship”.
Flinders MP Greg Hunt said the money would support women on the Mornington Peninsula to leave difficult and violent relationships.
“The Escaping Violence Payment will provide vital financial support for women and children … to escape family and domestic violence,” Mr Hunt said. “[It] includes a cash payment of up to $1500 and the remaining $3500 in goods and services as well as wrap-around support from a community service provider to support these women in making this brave decision.
“Domestic violence can occur across all backgrounds and in all places and there is never any excuse, which is why providing vital financial support to help these women escape these relationships is so important.”
The Peninsula Community Legal Centre said the new payment recognised the immediate need for emergency financial support for women and children fleeing family violence.
“However, based on PCLC’s extensive experience through its family violence and family law practices, women who leave violent relationships need longer term financial support,” community engagement officer Kirsten Young said.
“In particular, most women affected by family violence usually have related family law issues, such as how to get their share of the marital property pool which remains in the hands of their abusive partner, and [which] they are unable to access.
“Many are unable to afford the legal help required to go through the lengthy court processes required to access their property.
“While this announcement is a great first step, more federal funding is required for legal and other services aimed at securing women’s access to property and other assets.”
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au