National Advocacy Group urges Federal Government to take action on women’s safety

Despite significant calls to recognise the urgency of women’s safety as a national priority, the Federal Budget measures announced last week are an inadequate response to a growing national crisis.

Australia’s migration system continues to put women at risk of violence. Perpetrators use visa status as a threat to keep women in violent relationships. Visa status prevents many women and children from accessing social services, housing and healthcare, which are essential to escape violence. Specialist domestic and family violence support services continue to be substantially underfunded to respond to the needs of women and children.

In 2022, the National Advocacy Group released the Blueprint for Reform, which outlines how the migration system can be reformed to support women’s safety. These key asks have not been met.

We urge the Federal Government to move forward with the reforms detailed in the Blueprint, including:
1. Expanding eligibility and access to the family violence provisions to allow women and children who are dependent on perpetrators to seek safety without fear of affecting their visa status.
2. Creating a new temporary visa subclass which gives access to social services, housing and essential healthcare services to all women and children seeking safety from violence.

We welcome the Federal Government’s stated commitment to addressing violence in the National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women and Their Children, but this must be accompanied by a clear commitment to structural reform, which includes migration system reform. This is critical to ensuring women’s safety irrespective of their visa status.

We stand together in this call for substantive and achievable reform. If the Federal Government is committed to addressing violence against women in Australia, it must act on these reforms urgently.

Signed, Members of the National Advocacy Group on Women on Temporary Visas Experiencing Violence. A full list of members of the National Advocacy Group is available here.


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Sarah Sinclair on 0419 170 535.

About the National Advocacy Group on Women on Temporary Visas Experiencing Violence

The National Advocacy Group consists of more than 50 state and national peak bodies, service providers, individuals and other organisations working to address violence against women across Australia. It was formed in 2018 to respond to the national crisis of inaction on supporting women on temporary visas to live free from violence. The group developed the Blueprint for Reform and endorse it as a way forward to achieving appropriate and immediate access to safety and justice for women on temporary visas.

Read the full media release here.