Wellbeing / Wellness

A new program to support victims of gender-based violence in Australia was just announced – here’s what it will include

"This is, indeed, a national crisis and it's a national challenge and we're facing this with a spirit of national unity," said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese earlier this afternoon, to a room full of journalists and snapping cameras.

"We want to change this [and] we all have to take responsibility. Because violence against women is not a woman's problem to solve, it is a whole-of-society problem to solve, and men in particular have to take responsibility."

Today, the Prime Minister announced that the National Cabinet had agreed to fund a number of measures to aid in combating the issue of violence against women. The measures included permanent funding to help women escaping violent situations, and a suite of online measures to combat online misogyny and AI porn. The commitment totals to more than $925 million in funding.

Everything you need to know about the announcement, the issue and what happens next is below...


What does it mean?

It means the government has decided to fund programs and initiatives over the course of the next five years to enact change in the area of gender-based violence.

This includes:

  • implementing measures to address misogyny online (specifically aimed at young people)
  • introducing a ban on the creation and distribution of deepfake and AI-generated pornography
  • introducing a pilot program for age assurance-technology to block children's access to this type of content
  • reviewing the online safety act (one year ahead of schedule)
  • conducting further meetings on domestic and family violence in the next financial quarter
  • setting up a Leaving Violence Program over the next five years that will offer victims individualised financial support packages of up to $5,000.


Why now?

It has been this country's not-so-secret shame that 1 in 4 women (nearly 27% of the population) will experience gender-based violence, emotional abuse, or economic abuse by a partner from the age of 15. Or that one woman has died at the hands of gender-based violence every four days this year (that number was 27 women in 2024, 64 women in 2023, 50 women in 2022).

The recent attack at Bondi Junction Westfield, which left five women dead, was perhaps a catalyst for a more performative action from the government. But it certainly isn't an issue that's new.

It's been difficult to get the government to meaningfully address in the past, but let's hope this marks the beginning of a culture shift, and the enaction of legislation that does more to protect Australians in vulnerable domestic situations around the country.


What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence is an act of violence or abuse – physical, emotional, financial or otherwise – directed against a persons on the basis of gender, usually disproportionately affecting persons of a particular gender in Australia.


How to access support

If you or someone you know has experienced or is experiencing gender-based violence, help is available by calling 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or through White Ribbon Australia's helplines.

You can also access mental health services like the below:


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Cover image via @kimmakesphotos.