Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Amnesty International hands over petition on White Ribbon Day

The Australian Government has welcomed today’s visit to Canberra by National Director of Amnesty International Australia, Claire Mallinson, as part of raising public awareness of domestic violence on White Ribbon Day.

Ms Mallinson presented , Tanya Plibersek, with a petition of 30,000 names, calling for the Government’s commitment to a National Plan of Action to eliminate violence against women.

“The petition of 30,000 signatures supports the Rudd Government’s National Plan of Action to address the issue of violence against women,” Ms Plibersek said.

“White Ribbon Day, or, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, is an important time to reflect on one of the most pervasive issues in our society – domestic violence.”

ABS statistics show that one in three women has experienced physical violence and one in five women has experienced sexual violence.

“The Government recognises that Australians want action on this issue and is responding,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Before coming to office, we pledged to implement a national strategy against violence and sexual assault.

“To develop this strategy, the Government appointed National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children.”

The Council has been consulting widely and has received a very positive response from more than 2,000 members of the community. A summary of consultations will be released today on the Office for Women website.

The Government’s National Plan will enable the community to:

  • support victims of violence;
  • ensure that the legal system is effective; and
  • reduce the cycle of violence for future generations.

The Council will present a draft of the National Plan to the Government at the end of the year.

In addition to progressing work on the National Plan, on White Ribbon Day the Government has also announced it will accede to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.