Australian prime minister vows new funding to help women escape male violence

The Australian prime minister announced new funding on Wednesday to help women escape domestic violence and crack down on misogynistic online content.

It comes in reaction to an uptick in homicides committed by current and former male partners that he described as a national crisis.

Anthony Albanese said his government would invest 925 million Australian dollars (£480 million) over five years to support women and children escaping violence financially.

The government also proposed new measures to tackle factors that it says exacerbate violence against women, such as violent online pornography and misogynist content targeting children and young people.


The measures would include legislation to ban deepfake pornography and more funding for an Australian regulator to pilot age-assurance technologies to protect children from harmful online content.

“This is, indeed, a national crisis, and it’s a national challenge, and we’re facing this with a spirit of national unity,” Mr Albanese told reporters after a meeting with state and local authorities.

Tens of thousands protested in cities around Australia over the weekend to draw attention to the deaths of 34 women killed over the past 12 months, allegedly caused by acts of gender-based violence.

The government leaders will meet again in three months to discuss progress.

“I’m satisfied it’s a further step forward,” Mr Albanese told reporters.

“Can we be satisfied when a woman’s losing her life on average every four days? Of course not,” the prime minister said.

“I’ll be satisfied when we eliminate this as an issue, when we’re not talking about this as an issue, when women are not feeling as though they have to mobilise in rallies.”

The Australian Institute of Criminology reported that in the 12 months through June 2023, 34 Australian women were killed by an intimate partner.

That is the latest complete fiscal year for which the institute has data and represented a 31% increase in victims from the same 12-month period a year earlier when 26 women died.

Thirty-four women have died so far in Australia this year, according to Australian femicide researcher Sherele Moody.


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