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safe steps has a long and proud history of advocating for social change and policy reform. Our research and policy work is informed by the lived experiences of women and children impacted by family violence and seeks to ensure that their voices are at the heart of all relevant policy reforms. 

Our goal is to influence Government policy and community attitudes and position safe steps as a thought leader in the fields of family violence and gender equality, drawing on our extensive expertise in the family violence sector.  

Our policy and advocacy work

  • Clearly articulates the needs and experiences of women and children accessing our service
  • Shines a light on the complex social structures that stand in the way of women and children’s safety and independence
  • Is evidence-based and draws upon the best available local, national and international research and data
  • All client case studies have been de-identified and are provided with the consent of the victim-survivor.’

Policy submissions:

  • Submission prepared by safe steps for the Joint Select Committee Inquiry into Australia’s Family Law System (January 2020) | view PDF
  • Submission to The Treasury’s Review of early release of superannuation benefits (February 2019) | view PDF
  • Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Family Law System Discussion Paper | view PDF
  • Submission Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018 | view PDF
  • Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Inquiry into the practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia. | view PDF
  • Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Family Law Systems – Issues Paper (May 2018) | view PDF
  • Treasury Review of the Early Release of Superannuation Benefits (March 2018) | view PDF
  • Inquiry into the Family Law Amendment (Parenting Management Hearings) Bill 2017 (February 2018) | view PDF
  • Inquiry into the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2017 (February 2018) | view PDF
  • Submission to Family Safety Victoria: Family Violence Information Sharing Reforms (October 2017) | view PDF
  • Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee – Inquiry into the Delivery of National Outcome 4 of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children (1800RESPECT) (November 2017) | view PDF
  • Victorian Law Reform Commission Review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (October 2017) | view PDF
  • Submission made as part of SafeNET to the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Cross-Examination of Parties) Bill 2017 (July 2017) | view PDF
  • Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into a Better Family Law System to Support and Protect Those Affected by Family Violence (May 2017) | view PDF
  • Submission to the Victorian Government’s Information Sharing Legislative Reforms (August 2016) | view PDF
  • Joint Submission with Justice Connect Homeless Law to the Victorian Residential Tenancies Act Review: Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants (May 2016) | view PDF
  • Submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality (April 2016) | view PDF
  • Submission on the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy (March 2016) | view PDF
  • Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into ‘revenge porn’ (January 2016) | view PDF
  • Submission: Criminal Code Amendment (Private Sexual Material) Bill 2015 | view PDF
  • Submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission: Victims of Crime in the Criminal Trial Process (November 2015) | view PDF
  • Submission to the Victorian Government – Roadmap for Reform: Strong Families, Safe Children (November 2015) | view PDF
  • Submission to Family Law Council: Families with Complex Needs and the Intersection of the Family Law and Child Protection Systems (October 2015) | view PDF
  • Submission on Mental Health Strategy (September 2015) | view PDF
  • Submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence (June 2015) | view PDF

Research

Women and children without permanent residency experiencing family violence

Published by safe steps, November 2019

Women and children without permanent residency who experience family violence face numerable and compounding barriers to safety in Australia, including access to safe and secure housing for themselves and their children. Women without permanent residency are impacted by visa requirements which restrict their access to income and support services.

A critical lack of safe, ongoing accommodation increases women’s dependence on, and inability to leave, violent partners, ex-partners or family members. The significant shortfall in crisis accommodation results in a heavy reliance by the family violence and homelessness sectors on ‘ad hoc’ accommodation, such as motels. Demand for crisis accommodation is compounded by a lack of affordable long-term housing options for victim-survivors and their dependents to safely exit into.

This paper has involved interviewing family violence workers from safe steps and other services about their experiences working with women without permanent residency, and speaking directly to victim-survivors and includes wide-ranging recommendations for government and service providers.