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Domestic Violence Services & Women’s Safety Focus Of 2021 Federal Budget

A huge win for Australian women.

In the wake of the March 4 Justice protests, a call to demand the Australian government take action against gendered and sexual violence, and the positive aftermath of brave activism by Australian women such as Australian of the Year and marie claire cover star Grace Tame, former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins and Chanel Contos, many were waiting to see if the 2021 Federal Budget would address specific concerns directed to the safety of women in this country. 

Read on for our breakdown of how the 2021 Federal Budget affects women. 

Domestic Violence Services

On May 11, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the government’s plan to address the glaring lack of support for domestic violence services across Australia, which have found themselves stretched thin amidst the pandemic, setting aside more than $1.1 billion in the Federal Budget for women’s safety, directing funding to frontline domestic violence services and announcing a new scheme trialing up to $5,000 in financial support for women experiencing domestic or family violence. 

The government outlined some of the terrifying domestic violence statistics Australia currently faces—including, that on average, one woman is killed every nine days by a partner, and that one in four women have experienced sexual or physical violence from a current or previous intimate partner since the age of 15. 

“Everyone has the right to be safe at home, at work, and online. The government is delivering measures that address the high rates of violence against women and children,” the budget reads. “This funding will provide immediate support for victims of domestic violence. Our plan will help victims who escape dangerous situations. It will also assist women to access appropriate and timely specialist services, including effective legal support.”

Looking back at the past several months of headlines, it’s unsurprising the government chose to address such concerns in the budget, only, many have called the funding measures a “band-aid” solution and would rather see more attention brought to schools, providing educational resources surrounding consent.


In addressing those concerns, the government said: “attitudes towards violence against women are improving, some attitudes remain concerning”, going on to cite research that says one in five Australians believe many actions that constitute domestic violence are “normal reactions.”

In an attempt to change the attitudes of young Australians, the government will be spending $35.1 million on education resources and prevention, and in a bid to change attitudes like this from a young age, the government says it will spend $35.1 million on prevention.

Following the budget release, domestic violence services spoke of the welcome move from the government, with Queensland’s Women’s Legal Service CEO Angela Lynch saying the budget would provide women fleeing domestic violence situations greater access to vital assistance. 

“I absolutely believe this support over four years will help more women and children get the legal help they need,” she said, via ABC“What we know is specialist legal advice is essential for safe outcomes for women and children escaping violence in this country.”

Other Safety Measures Include: 

Among the increased safety measures outlined in the budget include $29 million towards specific measures supporting migrant and refugee women experiencing domestic or family violence; $10 million for additional education resources teaching young Australians about respectful relationships; and $23 million to address online harm. 

Endometriosis Sufferers

Interestingly, the budget touched on a new scheme for endometriosis sufferers across Australia.

“The Government was also providing in this budget new funding for endometriosis, research into preterm birth and genetic testing for pregnant women,” it announced. 

While no exact dollar value was provided, endometriosis affects 1 in 9 women, and currently, there are approximately 830,000 women living with endo in Australia, according to Endometriosis Australia.

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