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The Government’s new plan to address gender-based violence against women

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The Federal Government has announced a raft of measures to address violence against women, as concerns mount for women's safety.
The Federal Government has announced new measures to tackle the surge of violence against women.

CW: Domestic Violence

The Government has announced its new plan to combat gender-based violence against women following an urgent National Cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders.

The measures include support payments for people fleeing violent relationships, regulations for deepfakes, and safeguards for young people online.

National data released this week showed the rate of women killed by a partner in Australia increased by nearly 30% in 2022/23 compared to the previous year.

Support payments

The Government’s new plan to combat gender-based violence against women has several prongs.

Following this morning’s meeting, the Government announced the Leaving Violence Payment to support victim-survivors escaping partner violence.

The program will offer eligible individuals up to $5,000, split between cash, goods and services, as well as access to support.

The program will cost $925 million over the next five years.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said: “We want women to know if they need to leave, they can afford to go”.

Doxxing laws

The PM also announced a proposed law to ban doxxing will be brought to Parliament in August.

The Government flagged it wanted to outlaw the practice earlier this year with a bill targetting “those who seek to abuse or degrade women” by releasing their personal information online. However, it did not provide a specific timeline for the proposed legislation until today.

If passed, anyone accused of doxxing could face fines, and more serious cases could see perpetrators ending up in jail.

Online extremism

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said some online content reinforces “harmful and outdated gender norms”.

In particular, Rowland raised concerns about this content’s impact on young people.

$6.5 million will go towards a trial of age verification technology across platforms including pornography sites.

Deepfakes

The PM also flagged plans to “ban the creation and non-consensual distribution of deepfake pornography”.

AI-generated or digitally produced sexually explicit content will be criminally penalised under new reforms, which are expected to be introduced to Parliament.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth has urged families to “start having conversations about violent online material.”

Classifications

A Government review will look into current processes for classifying content like film and TV.

The review is aimed at reducing the number of young people exposed to violent pornography and age-inappropriate content.

Rowland said the current classification scheme “was not designed for the digital world” and is out of date.

Response

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said he would support the measures. He said: “Women should feel safe in society, but especially they should feel safe in their own homes.”

Independent MP Zoe Daniel said today’s announcement doesn’t go far enough. “Family violence is the leading cause of women’s homelessness in Australia. No new funding was announced for that,” Daniel noted.

Homelessness charity Mission Australia’s CEO Sharon Callister said women need “access to local, safe, secure and affordable” accommodation.

Next steps

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said he would support the measures. He said: “Women should feel safe in society, but especially they should feel safe in their own homes.”

Independent MP Zoe Daniel said today’s announcement doesn’t go far enough. “Family violence is the leading cause of women’s homelessness in Australia. No new funding was announced for that,” Daniel noted.

Homelessness charity Mission Australia’s CEO Sharon Callister said women need “access to local, safe, secure and affordable” accommodation.

1800 RESPECT

Call: 1800 737 732

Text: 0458 737 732

Video: 1800RESPECT.org.au

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