Escaping violence payment to be trialled

Women who are in the process of leaving a violent relationship may have access to a one-off payment of up to $5,000 in a combination of cash and costs to help them establish a life free of violence.

Under the Federal Government’s two-year Escaping Violence Payment trial, women will receive financial assistance of up to $1,500 in cash with the remainder available for goods and services or direct payments of bonds, school fees or other support to help establish a safe home.

Lucy Wicks MP

A UnitingCare Australia Consortium has been selected as the service provider to deliver the payments and will also support women to engage with other services for support including Commonwealth or state government funded community services.

Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, said the payments would assist women on the Central Coast who need financial support to leave.

“When a woman is fleeing violence, we know the size of the house she is fleeing doesn’t matter – often she bundles the kids into the car, maybe the dog and they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their back,” Wicks said.

“People from all backgrounds can and do experience domestic violence.

“This new payment is not means tested in a traditional sense because we know that women from every walk of life can experience DV and we want to encourage them all to reach out for support.

“This new program is part of the Morrison Government’s record $1.1B investment in women’s safety which is helping to ensure we end domestic, family and sexual violence.”

UnitingCare Network agencies will provide tailored assistance and engage with other relevant agencies.

The Escaping Violence Payment is not considered taxable or reportable income and will not impact on any other social security payments.

Eligibility includes financial stress and evidence of domestic violence including, but not limited to, a referral from a family and domestic violence service provider with a risk assessment and safety plan, an AVO, court order or a police report.

Minister for Women’s Safety, Anne Ruston, said the payments would help address the financial barriers that may stop women leaving violent relationships.

“We know that financial hardship as well as economic abuse, which may involve interfering with work or controlling or withholding money, reduces women’s ability to acquire and use money and makes it difficult to leave violent relationships,” Ruston said.

“The new Escaping Violence Payment aims to help address those issues, so women have more security when making that brave decision to leave any form of intimate partner violence – including physical violence, coercive control and financial abuse.”

Women can apply for the payment through the UnitingCare Network, with more information available at

The two-year trial will be independently evaluated to assess the benefit of the payment, including demand, eligibility criteria, needs of specific cohorts, and how it works with related services.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit

Primary source: Media release, Oct 20 Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks