While you’re here… help us stay here.

Are you enjoying open access to policy and research published by a broad range of organisations? Please donate today so that we can continue to provide this service.


Debt, duress and dob-ins: Centrelink compliance processes and domestic violence

Debt Victims of family violence Welfare recipients Family violence Social security Women economic conditions Australia

Domestic violence is a serious and widespread problem in Australia, disproportionately impacting women and children. The prevalence and intensity of domestic violence have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, with significantly increased demand for domestic violence services. Domestic violence is a national crisis demanding a considered and integrated policy response.

Access to income support provides a vital safety net for women living with or escaping domestic violence. Income security is crucial to safety at times of greatest vulnerability, and social security support can be an essential resource for women to re-establish themselves so they may rebuild their lives and move on. Yet social security is often absent from governments’ domestic violence policy or formal plans, most recently failing to make the agenda of the September 2021 Women’s Safety Summit. This ongoing failure represents a critical policy disconnect between these two intersecting areas of public policy: social security and the domestic violence response.

This report draws on EJA’s comprehensive review in its 2018 report of the intersection of domestic violence and social security law and policy, as well as the data derived from the new research. This new data includes interviews with caseworkers, and anonymised published case studies from EJA member centres detailing clients’ experiences of negotiating the social security system and appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Related Information

How well does Australia’s social security system support victims of family and … https://web.archive.org/web/20210313105236/http://ejaustralia.org.au/wp/wp-cont…

Publication Details
License type:
All Rights Reserved
Access Rights Type: