/ 02 May 2024

Big money for a big problem


The Squiz 

PM Anthony Albanese has announced nearly $1 billion in funding for a raft of new measures to support people escaping domestic violence and combating online misogyny and access to pornography. It follows yesterday’s snap National Cabinet meeting to discuss the uptick in men’s violence against women – with at least 28 Aussie women killed this year. But even as the government’s new strategy was being delivered, news broke that 2 men had been charged following the ”suspicious” death of 19yo Yolonda Mumbulla in the Sydney suburb of North Bondi.

Where’s that money going?

Recognising the issue as “a national crisis”, the government has allocated $925.2 million over 5 years for the Leaving Violence Program. It will provide up to $5,000 in financial support, along with referral services, risk assessments and safety planning to address the “barriers” to escaping domestic violence. Measures to “tackle extreme online misogyny” were also introduced, including a $6.5 million “age assurance” pilot to prevent children’s “easy access to pornography”. The government will also introduce legislation to ban deepfake pornography and doxxing (aka the malicious publishing of personal details). It will also run a new phase of the Stop it at the Start prevention campaign in June and bring forward a review of the Online Safety Act. But despite those moves, Albanese says the “heartbreaking reality” is there’s “no overnight solution to violence against women and children”. 

What about monitoring offenders?

Albanese says changes to bail laws will be led by states and territories to implement “best practice” in their jurisdiction, with a focus on high-risk perpetrators and serial offenders to prevent homicides. But things like ankle bracelets and a domestic violence offender registry are still TBD and will be addressed at other meetings by state and territory police ministers and attorney generals – something that Albanese denies is “kicking it down the road”. Meanwhile, the family of 28yo Molly Ticehurst – who was allegedly murdered by her former partner – are pushing for ‘Molly’s Law’ to monitor alleged offenders. They say, “there has to be something put in place that says if you receive bail today, we will know where you are the minute you walk out”. NSW’s Acting Premier Prue Car says “all options” are on the table.

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