How we are failing victims of Family Violence

[ed: or How to maximise your compensation payout in a patriarchy]

Tip 1

[I]f you want to maximise compensation for personal injury you should ensure you are injured at work, or in a car accident, or at least in circumstances where you can bring a public liability claim against an insured organisation. Even for sporting injuries in NSW, the maximum amount payable as a consequence of a single incident is $171,000 which exceeds what is available to you as a victim of crime.

Tip 2

If you must be a victim of a criminal assault, you should avoid being assaulted in NSW, where the financial assistance available is the lowest in Australia.

Tip 3

The next tip is to ensure that your assailant is a stranger rather than someone who is well known to you, such as an intimate partner or other family member.

[S]tudies indicate that intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness in Australian women aged 15 to 44.58 It would therefore appear that compensation schemes which are skewed to assist victims of crimes committed by a stranger are skewed to assist male claimants rather than women.

Tip 4

Ensure its a one-off assault with visible physical injuries, not ongoing abuse over years causing psychological injury.

Tip 5

The final tip is to ensure that you are a capable adult rather than a child or person with a disability or other vulnerability and that you, or those who care for you, have the capacity and presence of mind to report the crime to police and health services and lodge a claim within the prescribed time limit. Of course, if they are the perpetrators of the violence against you, this is particularly problematic.


Rather than empowering women to leave violent and abusive relationships by providing an effective compensation scheme or at least adequate welfare payments and supported accommodation, avenues of financial and practical support for women are being increasingly restricted. Meanwhile, the government is instead backing microfinance arrangements to assist women to leave abusive relationships, knowing full well that these will leave women further indebted into the future despite being touted as life-saving. This systemic refusal to fairly compensate women for the impact of male violence on their lives or to provide them with any viable means of escape is truly the patriarchy at work.

Source: Printed-Final_Kerr.pdf

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