Australian Government Offers Monetary Support For Victims To Leave Violent Partners
Victims can apply for a payment of 5,000 Australian dollars.
From Tuesday Australian citizens who are caught in violent relationships can apply for a payment of 5,000 Australian dollars ($3,700), which includes cash and direct payments for expenses such as school fees.
According to government data one woman is killed by a partner every nine days in Australia. Therefore the scheme, which is open to all genders, is expected to be primarily used by female victims.
As reported by the BBC, Australia scores poorly on international rankings of gender equality. In fact, the World Economic Forum's 2021 Global Gender Gap Report ranks Australia at 50 – a score that is well below the United States, the United Kingdom, France and New Zealand.
This may foster an uneven power dynamic in relationships, leading to women being financially dependent on their partners.
The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities between men and women. It has resulted in more women than men losing their jobs or having to cut hours during the past months. Also physical violence has increased during the pandemic, according to the Australian government.
The measure that has been welcomed by some, has been criticized by others for being too shallow, as it doesn’t address the root causes of domestic violence in Australia.
Executive director of the Victorian Women's Trust, Mary Crooks, told the BBC that the country needs to have a larger debate about the "blokey" culture that places men at the head of the family and in top government and corporate positions.
She also raised the question why women are the ones who are forced to leave family homes in case of misconduct on the part of a partner.
"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?" said Crooks. "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?"