There are fears the end of the JobKeeper scheme will inflict a “double whammy” on those at risk of domestic violence. Source: SBS News.
The peak representative body for specialist domestic and family violence services in New South Wales expects the end of the federal Government’s JobKeeper scheme will inflict a “double-whammy” on people at risk of violence.
The wage subsidy ended on Sunday, leaving an estimated 150,000 Australians unemployed after it was brought in at the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Sunday “encouraging signs across all sectors” led to the Government’s decision to end JobKeeper and that the scheme had “achieved its objectives”.
But the end of the program has Women’s Safety NSW fearing an increase in domestic violence incidents, given the direct impact financial insecurity has on the scourge.
“Economic distress is not the cause of domestic violence and abuse, but it is known to exacerbate it, and that’s exactly what frontline specialists have observed since COVID-19 and the period beyond,” Chief executive Hayley Foster said.
She said the end of JobKeeper could create a “double whammy because financial distress also reduces the ability for anyone escaping violence if they themselves don’t have the economic security to be able to do so”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased risks and incidents of domestic and family violence, with the United Nations calling it a “shadow pandemic”.
When women earn more than their male partners, domestic violence risk goes up 35 per cent (Sydney Morning Herald)