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Entrapment and institutional collusion: Domestic violence police reports and the ‘couple rule’ in social security law
journal contributionposted on 2023-11-20, 01:30 authored by Lyndal SleepLyndal Sleep
In Australia’s heavily targeted social welfare apparatus, couples are assessed jointly for their eligibility for social security payment. Specific guidelines for deciding if a social security recipient is a member of a couple are provided by the ‘couple rule’ in section 4(3) of the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth). A plethora of information is used by the Department to decide if a social security recipient is a member of a couple for social security purposes. Of particular concern is the use of domestic violence police reports as evidence of a couple relationship. This article argues that the current use of police domestic violence reports in ‘couple rule’ decisions is problematic. This is because it effectively entraps women in violent relationships, provides a financial barrier to leaving and is used by perpetrators to further control their victims.
Number of Pages6
PublisherLegal Service Bulletin Co-operative Ltd