The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, this morning officially launched the National Symposium on Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities, in Sydney.
The Stop the Violence National Symposium brings together representatives from a broad range of policy and service sectors, to identify measures for cross-sector service reform to better meet the needs of women and girls with disabilities who experience or who are at risk of experiencing violence.
In opening the Symposium this morning, Minister Cash reiterated that the firm commitment of the Abbott Government is that it is not acceptable for violence against women to be secreted away behind closed doors.
"Violence against women must be acknowledged. Violence against women must be addressed. Violence against women must be eliminated", the Senator said.
"The Government have committed - in black and white - to taking further steps to reduce violence against women.
"We will ensure that the National Action Plan on Violence Against Women and their Children continues to be implemented, and that its programmes are properly resourced and effective.
"The strength of the National Plan is that it involves everyone, and I am very much looking forward to taking an active role in he development of the second action plan".
Minister Cash also delivered a message from Prime Minister Tony Abbott:
"Violence against women and girls is utterly unacceptable…in Australia and across the world…
…I am working with my colleague and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash to ensure the National Plan is implemented, is effective and supports our most vulnerable.
I congratulate Women with Disabilities Australia, People with Disability Australia and the University of New South Wales for your work on the Stop the Violence Project and for organising this event".
"I also thank Liz Broderick, Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner and chair of the Stop the Violence Project for her tireless commitment to this project and for her work to put women's rights and safety at the forefront of public policy. Her efforts have been enormously effective", Senator Cash said.
"I wish all participants in today's Symposium my very best for a successful day".
For further information on the Stop the Violence Project, visit the website.