The Greens welcome the introduction of laws making 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave available to all employees, but have called on Labor to address other significant barriers for women and children escaping abusive relationships.
“The Greens have been calling for paid domestic and family violence leave for many years, echoing calls from the women’s safety sector and unions. We are pleased to see progress on this important issue,” says Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women, Senator Larissa Waters.
“For too many women, economic insecurity is a significant barrier to escaping an abusive relationship. Many are forced to choose between staying in a violent home or escaping into poverty and homelessness.
“Paid domestic and family violence leave allows employees to take time off work to move out, attend court hearings, counselling, Centrelink, medical or legal appointments and search for safe housing, without risking their job.
‘We welcome Labor’s decision to ensure leave is available to casual employees and more victim-survivors. More work is needed to ensure victim-survivors of sexual violence can also access leave.
“Many other barriers still exist for women trying to leave - finding accommodation, accessing Centrelink entitlements, and navigating police and family law systems. Frontline services are underfunded and having to turn women and children in need away.
“The government needs to invest the $1 billion per year the sector says is needed to fully fund frontline prevention, response and recovery services, and to ensure Escaping Violence Payments are well funded and easy to access.
“The government must also invest in public housing, increase the supply of crisis and transitional accommodation for women and children fleeing violence, and lead a national response to ensuring rental protections for victim-survivors.