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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Men and women show their support for White Ribbon Day

Almost 100 people attended today’s White Ribbon Day breakfast in Melbourne, each wore a white ribbon to show their support and to encourage others to take a stand to end violence against women.

The Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues, Senator Kay Patterson, said the overwhelming turnout, including the Treasurer, the Hon Peter Costello, demonstrated the strong community support for the White Ribbon Day campaign.

“Today is an opportunity for all of us, and particularly men, to speak out against violence and to encourage all Australian men and boys to wear white ribbons, symbolising a personal pledge to the elimination of violence against women,” Senator Patterson said.

“I welcome the support of my Parliamentary colleagues, members of the Australian Defence Force, Emergency Services, business and community leaders, sportspeople, entertainers and artists who’s attendance this morning shows their commitment to the cause.

“The Howard Government is committed to reducing violence against women through the $75.7 million Women’s Safety Agenda.

“The Agenda delivers a range of initiatives including the Violence Against Women. Australia Says NO campaign and training for the criminal justice sector on sexual assault.

“It also includes ongoing funding for the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse, and the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, as well as support for Mensline services, providing counsellors with training and materials on domestic and family violence.

“A dedicated resource at the Australian Institute of Criminology and training for nurses in regional and rural areas, assisting them to identify and respond to domestic and family violence are also part of the Agenda.

“Another part of our commitment is the continued support offered through the Australia Says No website, providing easily accessible information in English and 14 other languages, including a contact for the 24 hour confidential Helpline.

“The Helpline (1800 200 526) provides 24 hour, seven days a week assistance for people experiencing violence or who are at risk of violence and advice or information for all callers.

“We have distributed a resource kit to secondary schools, to assist in educating young people about identifying, avoiding and reporting violence in relationships.

“Today I call on all Australians, particularly men, to stand together to support White Ribbon Day by wearing a white ribbon, demonstrating their commitment to speak out and oppose violence against women,” Senator Patterson said.