Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Arresting Violence of Vulnerable Women and Children

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, today addressed a special forum on domestic violence in migrant and refugee communities in Sydney.

“There is no excuse whatsoever for violence against women. Sexual assault, domestic and family violence against women and their children is one of the most cowardly of acts,” said Senator Fierravanti-Wells.

“Organisations such as Shakti undertake important work with vulnerable women and I commend their work in hosting this important forum to bring together people connected with CALD communities who recognise this serious issue demands a focused and appropriate response.”

“As the Parliamentary Secretary with special responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, I am very pleased to add the voice of the Coalition Government to the forum.”

In February, as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, the Senator chaired one of the two sessions which were part of the National Consultation process to inform the development of the Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.

“The Federal Government’s ongoing commitment to addressing and arresting violence against women is highlighted by the launch earlier today of the Second Action Plan by Prime Minister the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, the Hon. Kevin Andrews MP, Minister for Social Services with Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, said Senator Fierravanti-Wells..

“Given my portfolio responsibility, I am especially pleased that the Second Action Planof the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children will also focus on deepening our understanding of diverse experiences of violence, including the experiences of Indigenous women, women from CALD communities and women with a disability.

“We recognise that women from diverse communities may face particular pressures associated with trying to build a new life in a country where the language, culture, laws and customs are all new. For example, there are also practices that occur overseas which are forbidden under Australian law, such as forced marriage.

“I commend all people and organisations working to empower women and reduce the incidence of domestic and sexual violence against women and I thank Shakti for organising this forum,” said Senator Fierravanti-Wells.