Tuesday, 22 February 2011

National plan to reduce violence against women and children: government

National plan to reduce violence against women and children


Joint Media Release

Attorney-General
Hon Robert McClelland MP

Minister for Status of Women
Hon Kate Ellis MP

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis and Attorney General Robert
McClelland today announced the endorsement of Commonwealth, State and Territory
Governments of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their
Children 2010–2022.


The National Plan is a single unified strategy that brings together
government efforts to reduce violence against women.

The National Plan is the first of its kind to focus so strongly on
prevention, including building respectful relationships amongst young people and
working to increase gender equality to stop violence from occurring in the first
place.

Key actions under the National Plan include:

  • Supporting local community action to reduce violence against women
  • Commitment to support the inclusion of respectful relationships education in
    phase three of the Australian Curriculum.
  • Provision of telephone support for frontline workerssuch as allied health,
    child care and paramedics to better assist clients who have experienced
    violence.
  • New programs to stop perpetrators committing acts of violenceand national
    standards for perpetrator programs.
  • Establishing a national Centre of Excellence to evaluate the effectiveness
    of strategies to reduce violence against women.
  • A Personal Safety Survey and National Community Attitudes Survey to track
    the impact of the new action plans every four years.
  • Encouraging young people to develop healthy and respectful relationships
    through the continuation of ‘The Line’ campaign and respectful relationships
    program.
  • The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) inquiry into the impact of
    Commonwealth laws on those experiencing family violence.

Minister Ellis said that the National Plan has been built from an
evidence base of new research and extensive consultation with experts and the
community, and sets out a framework for action over the next 12 years.

“Since April 2009, the Australian Government has committed over $86 million
to initiatives under the National Plan, to improve the lives of women
who have experienced violence and most importantly to stop violence from
occurring,” Ms Ellis said.

“A national 1800 RESPECT Counselling Service for victims of domestic violence
and sexual assault was launched in October 2010. The hotline gives callers
access to professional counsellors around the clock.”

“Work is also
underway on community activities to support the National Plan,
including funding support for sporting codes to establish zero tolerance
programs in local clubs.”

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said that domestic violence and sexual
assault are the most pervasive forms of violence experienced by women in
Australia, with one in three women reported to have experienced physical
violence in Australia since the age of 15.

“It is time for this to change,” Mr McClelland said.

“Protecting children and families from harm is a critical issue for the
Australian, State and Territory Governments.

“Together with our State and Territory colleagues we are determined to back
this commitment with action, and the National Plan sets out our framework for
doing this over the next 12 years.

“Today we send a clear message that violence is totally unacceptable.

“The Government’s work to strengthen family violence laws is an important
part of this process.

“These reforms have overwhelming community support and the Government is
determined to see them implemented.

“The Gillard Government is also working with the States and Territories to
develop a national recognition scheme for domestic and family violence
orders.

“The scheme will include a national database for orders to assist the
enforcement of orders by State and Territory Police.“

Minister Ellis said that under the National Plan the
Australian Government would support a series of projects over the next three
years to improve services for victims of domestic violence.

“We will also fund the Personal Safety Survey and the National Community
Attitudes Survey every four years to track the impact of the National Plan,” Ms
Ellis said.

“We need to develop a clearer picture of the impact
government efforts to reduce violence are actually having in the community.”

Studies commissioned by the Australian Government in 2009 also show that in
addition to the immeasurable emotional and personal impacts of violence, there
is an enormous economic cost. Domestic violence and sexual assault perpetrated
against women costs the nation $13.6 billion each year.

Minister Ellis said that it is the responsibility of all Australians to both
reject and prevent violence.

“The National Plan is underpinned by the belief that involving all
governments and the wider community is pivotal to reducing violence both in the
short and longer term,” Ms Ellis said.

“No government or group can tackle this problem alone - by working together
and challenging the attitudes and behaviours that allow violence to occur, all
Australian Governments are saying a very loud ’no’ to violence.”

The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children
2010–2022
is available online at www.fahcsia.gov.au

Contact: Ryan Liddel (McClelland) (02) 6277 7300
Jamila
Rizvi (Ellis) 0438 644 603

Source: Ministerial Media Release

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