Welcoming Hospital Access for Domestic Violence Victims on Temporary Visas

Today, Women’s Safety NSW welcomes the announcement from the NSW Government that women experiencing violence without eligibility to Medicare; inclusive of women on temporary visas, will now have access to free hospital care without the requirement to produce a police report.

“We commend the NSW Government for continuing to work with Women’s Safety NSW and other domestic violence representative bodies to address the systemic barriers for women on temporary visas seeking to escape violence and abuse in the home” says Hayley Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Safety NSW. “We look forward to continuing this work to provide a safer pathway to ensure critical access to income, accommodation and interpreter services for this group of women who are at particular risk at this time.”

One significant measure that Women’s Safety NSW and a national alliance of 40 organisations are still calling for at the federal level is a special sub-class of visa for women on temporary visas escaping violence to be able to access essential Government services including Centrelink, Medicare, health and housing whilst their safety is being secured.

“We are aware this was on the agenda of the nation’s Women’s Safety Minister’s meeting last week and we are awaiting the outcome of their deliberations” says Foster.

For more information refer to the joint platform of the National Advocacy Group for Women on Temporary Visas Blueprint for Reform:

Blueprint for Reform to Removing Barriers to Safety for Victims/Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence who are on Temporary Visas

Women’s Safety NSW has also produced a series of reports throughout the COVID pandemic highlighting the particular risks and barriers faced by migrant and refugee women and women on temporary visas experiencing violence:

About:

Women’s Safety NSW is a peak representative body for women’s specialist domestic and family violence services. Our purpose is to advocate on behalf of our members for women’s safety, justice and wellbeing in the context of domestic and family violence through policy, practice, law reform and cultural change.

Our full members – Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service workers – supported 51,383 women across NSW last year through:

  • NSW’s integrated response to domestic and family violence, Safer Pathway, in 43 metropolitan, regional and rural locations;
  • The Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program in 117 local courts across the state; and
  • The Family Advocacy Support Service in Family Law Registries.

Our associate members are women’s specialist domestic violence workers working in a variety of services including staying home leaving violence, women’s health, women’s supported accommodation, women’s counselling, and women’s legal services.

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