Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Reducing the cycle of violence against women

The Rudd Government will provide $2 million to commission a national survey of community attitudes relating to violence against women.

The Prime Minister announced this new initiative in a speech to the White Ribbon Foundation Annual White Tie Dinner last night.

The survey will enable the Government to benchmark community attitudes and progress of the National Plan to the Reduce Violence Against Women and Children.

In any year, nearly half a million Australian women experience domestic violence or sexual assault (ABS).

One in three Australian women have experienced physical violence.

One in five Australian women have experienced sexual violence.

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

That strategy consists of:

  • supporting victims of violence;
  • ensuring that the legal system is effective; and
  • reducing the cycle of violence for future generations.

To develop this strategy, the Government appointed an expert Council who will present a draft of the National Plan to the  at the end of the year.

Australia needs to come together as a community to build a culture of zero tolerance against this issue.

This means changing the attitudes of future generations by providing young men with positive role models.

During the election, the Government committed to a comprehensive high school education program to help young men to develop respectful relationships.

At the start of next year, we will pilot several programs to test their effectiveness in both schools and youth-focused community organisations.

Working to change violence-supportive attitudes and understanding community attitudes to violence against women are both critical to Australia effectively reducing the incidence of violence perpetrated against women.

The National Council will form a partnership with VicHealth, the Social Research Centre and the Australian Institute of Criminology to conduct the community attitudes survey.

This will be an important new tool that will assist in monitoring the progress of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.