Violence or poverty: this is the terrible choice many women escaping family violence in Australia face every day. This week, ABC’s current affairs discussion show Q and A dedicated an entire episode to addressing the issues around single mothers and poverty.
The program focused on a newly-released report from journalist and researcher Anne Summers that drew on data especially prepared by the ABS mostly from the 2016 Personal Safety Survey.
The panel included Anne Summers, Jess Hill, author of See What You Made Me Do, Veronica Gorrie, author of Black and Blue, Federal MP Anne Aly and anti-violence activist, Arman Abrahimzadeh, who all took questions from the audience, including Leanne Ho from Economic Justice Australia, who asked a question we consider crucial to addressing family violence:
“What will the new Labor government do to ensure that economic security, particularly social security income support, is included in the new National Plan for the Safety of Women and Children?”
While Minister Aly re-affirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting single mothers escaping family violence, there was no such commitment to include an increase in social security as part of its National Plan for the Safety of Women and Children.
SSRV believes that women escaping family violence will continue to be faced with the choice between violence and poverty unless livable social security rates are addressed.
Next Friday, Federal and State ministers with portfolios responsible for women’s safety will meet to discuss economic safety for women. We are urging these ministers to make economic security a key pillar of the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children.