Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Violence Against Women. Australia Says NO. It is time for Labor to join in

The time has come for Labor to put party politics aside and support the Australian Government’s elimination of violence against women campaign, Violence Against Women. Australia Says NO.

There has been a very positive response to the campaign with people using the 24-hour confidential helpline to talk to Lifeline trained counsellors.

In the first 19 days the helpline has received more than 10,000 calls.

Calls have ranged from people in serious crisis who have received immediate support and counselling through to parents and friends calling for guidance on how to help someone they know. Anyone can call the helpline on 1800 200 526.

A substantial number of calls have come from people in rural and remote regions who particularly appreciate the availability of this confidential service.

By the end of the month, every household in Australia will have received a booklet with important information about how to identify and avoid abusive and violent relationships and where to find help.

The campaign is also supported by a website providing easily accessible information in English and in 14 other languages – Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Korean, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.

The website provides detailed information about the campaign and provides a list of services available.

Despite Labor’s criticisms prior to even seeing the campaign they should now admit they were wrong.

There is no doubt this campaign is raising awareness of this serious issue and making a difference to thousands of Australians.

I call on the Opposition to support the vital campaign Violence Against Women. Australia Says NO.