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Media Release by The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Women across the country to ‘reclaim the night’

Tonight, women across Australia will come together to stand up for their right to live lives free from violence.

For over 30 years Reclaim the Night has raised awareness of the devastating effects that domestic and sexual violence has on women and their children.

Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis said that all Australians have role to play in changing the attitudes that allow violence against women to continue in our community.

“This international event is crucial to raising awareness of the devastating effects that domestic and sexual violence has on women and their children.”

“Since 1978 Reclaim the Night has given Australian women a chance to come together to speak out against violence and to celebrate our strength.”

“All forms of violence against women are unacceptable – in any community and in any culture – and it is everyone’s responsibility to reject and prevent violence,” Ms Ellis said.

Nearly one in three Australian women experience physical violence since the age of 15, and almost one in five women are victims of sexual violence.

Indigenous women and girls are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence related assaults than other women and girls.

Ms Ellis, who will speak at tomorrow night’s Reclaim the Night event in Adelaide, said that the Australian Government was dedicated to promoting a zero-tolerance policy on violence.

“We have committed more than $86 million in funding to support the implementation of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children,” Ms Ellis said.

“The Plan is the first of its kind to focus so strongly on prevention, including building respectful relationships amongst young people and working to increase gender equality to stop violence from occurring in the first place.

“This investment is supporting a range of initiatives, including a national 1800 RESPECT Counselling Service, Community Action Grants, the Respectful Relationships strategy, and the Line campaign.

A copy of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 is available from www.fahcsia.gov.au.