Today marks White Ribbon Day, also known as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women — an opportunity to reflect on how all Australians can work together to prevent and respond to violence against women.
Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, commended the thousands of people who have taken an oath to stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence against women.
“The White Ribbon movement has played an important role in promoting cultural change and encouraging people to challenge unacceptable language and behaviour,” Minister Cash said.
“The Turnbull Government has made women’s safety a national priority, with significant work underway to change behaviours, better support survivors of family violence and hold perpetrators to account.”
Last month the Commonwealth, state and territory governments came together to launch the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 – a national approach to addressing violence against women and children, informed by a growing body of research and data.
The plan outlines 36 practical actions across six national priority areas, including prevention and early intervention, greater support for women and children experiencing violence, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children, responding to children living with violence, holding perpetrators to account, and responding to sexual violence as a key component of women’s safety.
“We been listening carefully to those on the ground, with the majority of this $100 million package allocated to frontline services, Indigenous services, dispute resolution and court-based support services,” Minister Cash said.
Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said the package complemented the $100 million Women’s Safety Package announced last September, which has improved training for frontline workers, trialled integrated service delivery and boosted educational resources for young people.
“A key component of this package was an expansion of 1800RESPECT, the national domestic and family violence and sexual assault counselling and support service, to respond to an increase in demand of the service through introduction of a first response triage model,” he said.
“Initial data shows that, since the introduction of the new model, the average call wait time has decreased from over ten minutes to 35 seconds – an example of practical support making a huge difference to women seeking support.
“Everyone needs to play a role in addressing this issue – that’s why we are also working closely with state and territory governments through COAG on a range of initiatives, including the launch of the national campaign ‘Stop it at the Start’ in April this year to change attitudes and behaviours; and progressing the development of a national Domestic Violence Order Scheme.
“Australian women and their children have the right to feel safe at all times, no matter where they are. This White Ribbon Day we urge all Australians to consider how they can change attitudes and behaviour to end violence against women.”
For more information on what the Australian Government is doing to address violence against women, visit plan4womenssafety.dss.gov.au
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000. For sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling services call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au