• Australian government announces $925m program to support women escaping violence

  • Stop killing women: Local action needed to combat gender-based violence

  • Non-profit organisation SECC offers practical support in South East Sydney

The national death toll of women lost to gender-based violence has climbed to 27 this week, a staggering increase from the same period last year.

In response to the crisis, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced a $925 million program over five years to support women leaving violent situations.

The announcement follows a weekend of protests demanding action, with a clear message: Stop killing women.

CEO of Mascot’s South Eastern Community Connect (SECC) welcomes the news that action has been taken on a national level. However, she says the crisis needs to be addressed locally. And fast.

SECC has seen a 150% increase in women accessing support from SECC’s family and domestic violence casework team in the last six months. The community organisation is working hard to combat the issue of family and domestic violence in the region of South East Sydney through a range of practical supports.

“We are shocked by the numbers, but not surprised,” SECC CEO Kate Melhopt says.

“We speak with victims and survivors daily at our Community Hub in Mascot. While there is often a waitlist, we are now able to offer support to those escaping violence through a specialist, trauma-informed model of service delivery. We have a special focus on the needs of young mums, and the challenges they face in providing for their children following domestic and family violence.

“If a woman is constantly monitored, how does she get a phone or buy her own food?” Melhopt says.

“SECC has partnered with DV Safe Phone to get phones to women who need increased security, and our food relief team is able to offer practical support to them every week through The People’s Pantry and Community Closet. We continue to fight strongly to combat the issues facing our nation – and our neighbourhood. Please reach out to us if you need support on 02 7903 0607.”

The “Leaving Violence” program proposed by the government will provide:

  • Up to $5,000 in financial support for women escaping violence

  • Referral services

  • Risk assessments and

  • Safety planning

This program aims to help women escape violence and rebuild their lives. Additionally, the government will introduce legislation to combat online misogyny, including:

  • Banning deepfake pornography

  • Restricting the sharing of sexually explicit material using technology like AI

  • A “Stop it at the Start” campaign to counter violent and misogynistic content online

  • Classification reforms to reduce exposure to violent pornography

“We must take immediate and sustained action to address the scourge of gender-based violence,” said Prime Minister Albanese. “We owe it to the victims, their families, and our community to create a safer and more just society for all.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can also call these numbers:

  • South Eastern Community Connect (SECC): 02 9703 0607 or email hubadmin@secc.sydney

  • National family violence counselling service: 1800 737 732

  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

  • Blue Knot Foundation (adult survivors): 1300 657 380

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