MEDIA RELEASE: GOVERNMENT ABANDONS WOMEN ON TEMPORARY VISAS FACING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - 23 SEPTEMBER 2020
2.10pm | September 25, 2020
LINDA BURNEY MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR BARTON
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SHADOW CABINET SECRETARY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES AND THE PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE
GOVERNMENT ABANDONS WOMEN ON TEMPORARY VISAS FACING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
We have known for some time that people on temporary visas in Australia who are experiencing domestic violence have insufficient access to services and support.
The revelations on ABC’s 7.30 last night show just how bad this situation has become during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Temporary visa holders are ineligible for many government support payments and health benefits. This sees women and their children fleeing violence struggle to get the support they need from shelters, clinics, housing and support services which are simply not funded to help them.
Women and children are also severely limited in their options by Coronavirus travel restrictions – unable to escape or access support networks.
Perpetrators have leveraged the travel restrictions, isolation and lack of specifically funded services to exert extraordinary control over their victims.
Women and children on temporary visas are being left desperate and destitute. There should be no place for this in Australia.
Yesterday, officials from the Office for Women told the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 that this issue was “a priority” for the Minister for Women. The Government’s actions do not reflect this statement.
The Australian Law Reform Commission, Victorian Royal Commission and frontline service providers have all been calling for action.
The Minister for Families and Social Services could fix many of the problems faced by women on temporary visas with the stroke of a pen.
The Morrison Government has chosen not to act.
WEDNESDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2020
DARYL TAN (BURNEY) 0422 028 222
LEILA STENNETT (MCALLISTER): 0436 632 388