Domestic Violence Responses:
Women must have secure public housing to leave violence and start new lives

 Women’s Electoral Lobby has been campaigning with advocacy organisations for some years to increase funding under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreements.  

“Funding certainty and adequacy has been an area of considerable concern to front-line service providers like women’s and domestic violence refuges. No woman or her children should be turned away from these services anywhere in Australia,” said Dr Jane Bullen WEL’s housing and homelessness expert. 

“Increased funding under these Agreements should be a priority for the Federal Budget,” said Dr Bullen.

WEL acknowledges that there is a continuing need for much greater investment in all front-line services, as well as legal assistance and support. These services report overwhelming demand for help and have to turn many women and children away. Investment is also needed to ensure services are responsive to the needs and barriers to seeking help for women from cultural and linguistically diverse communities as well as Indigenous communities.

The National Plan for the Reduction and Elimination of Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence must be funded in all its aspects and programs and report on their efficacy. There needs to be a measurable difference over time demonstrating women and their children feel safer and are protected.

WEL welcomes the recent Federal Government announcements following the National Cabinet meeting. The Leaving Violence Program expansion with indexed payments is a good first step towards helping women to transition to a safer life.

Other announcements made in recent days by state governments to increase domestic and family violence funding are also all steps in the right direction. Financial, housing and safety issues prevent many women from leaving violent relationships. There is, however, much more work needed for better coordination across government agencies and more targeted approaches at the local level.   

We also need fast action to improve justice responses including bail arrangements.

An increase in Jobseeker and Youth Allowance in this Budget cycle is vital to provide economic security and support for women’s safety. Measures should be taken to support young women under 18 years and women who have separated more than 12 weeks ago, but who are still impacted by violence or its ongoing effects.

Dr Bullen said, “None of these measures will fully address the problem in the longer term unless there is substantial new government investment in social and affordable dwellings to increase the stock of dedicated, secure, long-term housing for women who have experienced domestic and family violence.” 

Media Inquiries: Dr Jane Bullen on 0413 806 253

Women's Electoral Lobby Au


Women's Electoral Lobby is a national, independent, non-party political, feminist lobby group working to ensure the rights of Australian women are protected.