department to review the turnaround time for payment of vouchers to vulnerable women
Senate estimates have heard of women waiting an average of 28 days to access a $5,000 payment that would help them flee domestic violence.
Most federal “escape from violence” payments are issued by the Department of Social Services in the form of vouchers.
In a statement on Friday, the leader of the Senate of the Greens The waters of Larissa said she was shocked to learn of the average 28-day delay for eligible recipients trying to escape their dangerous surroundings.
“For too many women, economic insecurity is a significant barrier to escaping an abusive relationship. Many are forced to choose between remaining in abusive homes or escaping into poverty and homelessness,” Waters said.
“Victim-survivors do not have 28 working days to decide whether to leave an abusive relationship, they need immediate support to keep them safe.”
The ministry said research into this payment model for eligible women was underway, with a report expected next June.
Senator Waters noted that the Vulnerable Women Payment Scheme was started by the previous government and was retained by the Labor Party.
“It’s 28 business days for vouchers now, and at least a year before anything changes.”
“The fact that these payments continue to be provided primarily in the form of vouchers ($3,500) is condescending and cruel, adding unnecessary anxiety to women already dealing with the stress of leaving a violent situation,” she said.
Government announces payment to help women escape domestic violence