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Australian women forced to choose between violence or policy-induced poverty due to alarming rise in DV deaths

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Research reveals 60% of single mothers are single because they fled violence according to Professor Anne Summers, who will soon speak at the Listen, Connect and Reflect: Ending Violence Against Women Conference in Brisbane on 12-13 May, 2023. 

Professor Summers calls on the Federal Government to take steps in the May budget to improve their financial security, a key factor in many remaining or returning to abusive relationships. 

“Single mothers are less supported today than they were 50 years ago in the Whitlam Government. They often cannot pay their rent, or their phone bills, or register their cars. They go without meals.” 

“It’s time to restore eligibility for the Parenting Payment Single (PPS) allowance, abolish mutual obligations requirements for parents of school-aged children, and increase PPS to equal the Age Pension single rate,” added Professor Summers.  

Every year, thousands of Australian women are forced to make the choice between remaining in an abusive relationship, or leaving and facing a 50 percent chance of living in poverty due to current government policies. 

Over the last fortnight, an alarming five Australian women have been killed by their intimate partner, making the national conversation on domestic and family violence as important as ever.  

Professor Summers’ keynote speech at the conference will address policy-induced poverty, with the program also focusing on the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 on the first day, and the Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce on day two. 

Not-for-profit organisations Micah Projects, DV Connect and Multicultural Australia are some of those involved in delivering the conference, with special guests including Dame Quentin Bryce, and the Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP.  

“The work Anne Summers has done is critical in highlighting the choice between violence and poverty that hundreds of thousands of women face each year, ” says Karyn Walsh, CEO of Micah Projects. 

The event aims to empower the voice of lived experience, and strengthen collaboration, with a vision to end violence against women and girls in our communities.  

For more information about the Listen, Connect, Reflect Conference, head to: 


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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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