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2010 Media Release: 16 Days: Commissioner reiterates call for National Plan

Sex Discrimination

As we enter the 16 Days Campaign tomorrow, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick has reiterated her call to the Australian Government to further their leadership in addressing violence against women in Australia by releasing the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

“The Government has made significant contributions to address violence against women, but we are still waiting for the release of the National Plan” said Commissioner Broderick.

In its twentieth year, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign that is held every year from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November, to International Human Rights Day, 10 December.

“Many women in Australia experience violence as an everyday reality and the statistics are shocking,” said Commissioner Broderick. “The most recent national data shows that one in three women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15, nearly one in five women has experienced sexual assault since the age of 15 and almost every week, one woman is killed by her current or former partner.”

The 16 Days Campaign draws attention at a local, national and global level to the different forms of violence that women face. It also highlights violence against women as a human rights violation, symbolised by the International Days on which the campaign begins and ends.

“This period is an opportunity for Australians to stand up against violence against women in all its forms, whether it be rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence or other acts,” said Commissioner Broderick. “As members of the communities we live in - men and women, boys and girls – we must all think about what we can do to stop this violence which is occurring in our homes, our families, our workplaces and our educational institutions.”

Commissioner Broderick said the government still had a powerful and important role to play.

“As I did in my Gender Equality Blueprint, I again call for the government to show its leadership in this area and take action by releasing, implementing and adequately funding the National Plan,” the Commissioner said. “I also call for a suitable independent body to be charged with monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the National Plan.”

Commissioner Broderick also said services that respond to the needs of women and girls who have experienced violence should be adequately funded as an urgent priority.

She also repeated her call upon the Australian Government to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to visit Australia to contribute to independent monitoring of the nation’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to gender-based violence.

Media contacts: Brinsley Marlay – 02 9284 9656 or 0430 366 529