MEDIA RELEASE - STEPHEN JONES & JENNY MCALLISTER - SUPER PLAN RISKS OPENING UP ANOTHER AVENUE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - 16 MARCH, 2021
8.02am | March 17, 2021
SHADOW CABINET SECRETARY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES AND THE PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
SUPER PLAN RISKS OPENING UP ANOTHER AVENUE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Allowing women fleeing violence to access their superannuation plays into the hands of abusers and would further endanger women at risk of violence.
The Government’s plan could give abusers another means by which to extort money from their victims, in this case a potential $10,000 lump sum, and could trigger financially motivated violence.
Furthermore, financially penalising women who flee violence sends the wrong signal to those who find themselves dealing with abuse.
The Government’s plan exposes women and their children escaping violence to long-term financial hardship and undermines what is, for many, the only asset they have.
Women and their children should not be forced into an impossible choice between escaping violence and eroding, or completely draining, their hard-earned retirement savings.
The Government should join with Labor and immediately institute paid domestic violence leave to give women and children a safe means to flee abuse.
Instead of asking women to undermine their financial security to escape violence, it should invest more into housing and support services.
For more than two years the Government has sat on its hands while former Minister Kelly O’Dwyer’s Women’s Economic Security Statement gathered dust.
It is instructive that, pushed into action by the women of Australia, Scott Morrison’s first move is to rush out this poorly considered plan that will only further endanger women at risk of violence.
Attributable to Stephen Jones, Shadow Minister for Superannuation:
“A woman’s super balance should not determine her ability to live without fear of violence.
Action is desperately needed to improve women’s safety, but this plan from the Government will do the opposite.
Not only does this plan penalise women who flee abuse, it increases the likelihood of violence and extortion from potential abusers.”
Attributable to Jenny McAllister, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and the Prevention of Violence Against Women:
“Women and children fleeing domestic violence need support.
But the message from the Liberals is that you’re on your own.
“Most women under the age of 45 have a balance of less than $45, 000.
Drawing on meagre retirement savings to escape domestic violence exposes women to financial hardship and reduces financial independence at a time when it's most needed.”