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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

National Elimination of Violence Against Women Campaign to be launched in two weeks

The Australian Government’s National Elimination of Violence Against Women campaign will be launched on Sunday, June 6, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, Senator Kay Patterson, announced today.

“This groundbreaking national campaign is targeted at both domestic violence and sexual assault. The campaign will raise community awareness that violence against women is totally unacceptable and provide immediate accessible support on these serious issues,” she said.

“The campaign will be supported by a national, Australian Government-funded helpline staffed by experienced counsellors with specialist training in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I am pleased to announce that Lifeline will run the helpline staffed by their experienced counsellors. The helpline will begin operation on the same day as the campaign.

“The helpline will allow anyone who is concerned about domestic violence or sexual assault to access experienced counsellors and referral services and is part of the Australian Government’s emphasis on offering practical help, especially for women experiencing violence.”

Through this program, the Howard Government will:

  • provide a dedicated, confidential telephone number to call;
  • provide a referral point on this important issue; and
  • offer a 24 hour-a-day, seven days a week service.

Senator Patterson: “The helpline will be a vital component of the National Elimination of Violence Against Women campaign, a multimedia campaign which will feature radio and television advertising and a comprehensive booklet.

“The booklet will complement the advertising campaign. This will be delivered to all Australian households and will be a valuable resource.

“Violence against women is a serious issue and I am proud that the Howard Government is committed to a national campaign, which will raise both community awareness and provide immediate, accessible support through the helpline.

“People who experience domestic violence and sexual assault, their families, friends and anyone who is concerned about these issues will all have access to the confidential helpline.

“The Howard Government takes the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault very seriously and since 1997 has allocated more than $73 million in specific programs targetting this area.”