Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Australian Government steps up national campaign against domestic violence

The highly successful Violence Against Women, Australia Says Notelevision advertisements will resume later this month as part of a significantly boosted Australian Government campaign to reduce and eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, said the advertisements would also appear in cinemas, magazines and female public conveniences after the Government had increased its mainstream anti-domestic violence funding to record levels.

“The Howard Government has committed $6 million to re-run the campaign starting on 24 July. The Lifeline helpline set up in 2004 when the original campaign was launched has so far led to 44,000 calls from members of the public.

“While I am pleased with the success of the campaign to date, I am disturbed by the large numbers of victims of domestic violence seeking help. The Howard Government is committed to continuing its efforts in taking a leadership role to reduce and prevent violence against women.

“Funding for the campaign comes from the new Women’s Safety Agenda, announced in this year’s Budget, which represents the largest ever commitment by an Australian Government, $75.7 million over four years to tackle domestic violence and sexual assault against women,” Senator Patterson said.

“The Women’s Safety Agenda will build on the successes of the $50 million Partnerships Against Domestic Violence (PADV) initiative and the National Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault programs.

“We are not only directing more funding to the campaign against domestic violence but also introducing some new initiatives including special training for nurses in regional and rural areas.”

Senator Patterson revealed details of the Women’s Safety Agenda at a PADV Sharing the Findings showcasing seminar in Melbourne, the seventh in a national series of seminars, which have included Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

“Only the Howard Government had the courage to address domestic violence and sexual assault against women in a comprehensive way, seeking the support of states and territories and service providers, with the launch of PADV in 1997,” Senator Patterson said.

“Under PADV, 230 innovative projects were funded to help a wide range of groups including women, children, young people, men, Indigenous and other rural and remote communities, people with disabilities, older people and people with a non-English speaking background.

“The Howard Government’s Women’s Safety Agenda will replace PADV and renew and increase funding to continue the campaign against violence and sexual assault.

“The resumption of the Violence Against Women, Australia Says No campaign will leave no one in any doubt about the Australian Government’s strong message that violence against women is totally unacceptable.”