Media Releases


1 May 2024

The package to counter gender-based violence, announced by the Prime Minister today following a meeting of National Cabinet misses the mark on what is needed to tackle this crisis.

National Cabinet has failed to announce urgent, systemic and widespread change required to keep women safe.

With one woman murdered every four days in Australia, just doing more of the same will not keep women safe. The announcements today do not get close to the scale needed to start making a difference in the lives of many women who need help now.

The announcement of $925 million over five years nationally for women to access a mere $5,000 to escape domestic violence is merely a reheated policy that can be accessed already.

Where is the urgency to review sentencing laws, or a move abolishing good character refences? These are urgently needed. There is also nothing regarding expansion of initiatives to Keeping Women Safe in their Homes, known as Staying Home Leaving Violence in NSW, which place the responsibility on the perpetrator, instead of the victims, to find a new place to live.

The announcements made regarding “system responses to high-risk perpetrators and serial offenders” to do with information sharing between jurisdictions and improving police responses to high risk and serial perpetrators are welcome steps but are little more than the states and territories being told to do their work and that should already have been done.

Gabrielle Morrisey CEO of local women’s refuge Women & Children First notes that “nothing proposed today will keep women safer tomorrow, next week or next month.”

She said What has been offered is a fraction of the support needed for frontline services and is the same approach trying to get a different result, which will not happen with what has been announced today. Support payments of $5000 for a woman to flee and rebuild her life is simply not enough. Our caseworkers can already access similar funds and yet the violence keeps escalating. Where is the system change so acutely needed to keep children and women safe in their homes? Where is the funding for Staying Home Leaving Violence? Where is the immediate action on perpetrator accountability, legislation, penalties and deterrents? Where is the action on targeted interventions around alcohol and other variables that spike violence?”