Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

National Stop Domestic Violence Day

National Stop Domestic Violence Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about family and domestic violence and highlight the effects on victims and their families.

National Stop Domestic Violence Day is a timely reminder for Australians about the reality of this issue. Reducing the incidence of domestic violence requires a shared commitment by governments and the community.

Research on the extent of domestic violence in Australia is shocking.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that around one in three Australian women experience physical violence, and almost one in five experiences sexual violence, over their lifetime.

The majority of violence against women is committed by men they know. Of those women who experienced physical assault, 51 per cent said the perpetrator was a male current or previous partner, and 32.6 per cent said the perpetrator was a male family member or friend.

However, it is generally accepted that the incidence of domestic violence and sexual assault is understated, as many women may be too frightened or ashamed to report violence.

The Australian Government is establishing a National Council to develop and implement a National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children in Australia.

We are focusing on a number of new initiatives to target early intervention and prevention of violence towards women and children, including domestic and family violence. These include:

  • Development of an education campaign Respectful Relationships in Australian secondary schools, aimed particularly at boys, promoting respectful relationships and an awareness of the impacts of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • White Ribbon Day education activities will also be receiving an additional $1 million to target rural and regional communities. White Ribbon Day promotes culture-change around violence against women. Some 300 prominent men have agreed to be White Ribbon Day Ambassadors to advocate and educate for non-violent relationships with women.