Private Members' Business
Elimination Of Violence Against Women
Ms CLAYDON (Newcastle—Deputy Speaker) (10:36): I move:
That this House:
(1) notes that:
(a) 25 November 2023 marks the United Nations' Internation al Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, beginning 16 days of activism against gender-based violence;
(b) in Australia, it has been publicly reported that approximately 47 women have been killed by acts of violence as of 9 November this year;
(c) one in three Australian women have experienced physical violence perpetrated by a man since the age of 15; and
(d) violence affects women of every age, from every cultural background, with different jobs and levels of education or income, living in different areas and leading different lives;
(2) commends the work of the family, domestic and sexual violence sector, which is delivering vital services to women, children and men;
(3) further notes that the Government is taking immediate and practical steps to prevent violence against women by:
(a) investing a record $2.3 billion in this area;
(b) launching the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032;
(c) establishing a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander action plan;
(d) establishing six ambitious targets to hold all governments to account for progress under the national plan;
(e) reducing the time it takes victim-survivors to access the Escaping Violence Payment;
(f) securing funding for states and territories to deliver frontline services;
(g) increasing support for temporary visa holders experiencing violence from $3,000 to $5,000;
(h) legislating ten paid days of family and domestic violence leave for all employees, including casuals; and
(i) making the family law system simpler and safer for people fleeing family violence; and
(4) acknowledges that there is still more work to done to end violence against women and children, but the Government is committed to ending this scourge within a generation.
It is with a heavy heart that I rise to speak to this motion moved in my name. When I drafted this motion less than two weeks ago the number of Australian women who had been killed by acts of violence this year was 47. Today, that number stands at 53. Six more women have been killed in the last two weeks alone.
We have a national crisis when it comes to violence against women in Australia. Each year I rise in this House to read the names of women who have been violently killed. Last week I read the names of 47 women. Today I rise to read six more—and, sadly, a number of these are unnamed women because their names have not been publicly released as yet. They are an unnamed woman, age 37; an unnamed woman, age 44; an unnamed woman, age 45; Julianne Egan, age 63; yet another unnamed woman, age 39; and Jodie Jewell, aged just 55. I want to acknowledge the work of Destroy The Joint, who do the job of maintaining the Counting Dead Women register in Australia, and thank them for the heartbreaking work they do.
When more than one woman a week is violently killed, usually by an intimate partner or someone close to them, it is beyond time for a national reckoning. This national crisis requires a fundamental shift in our culture, our behaviours and our attitudes towards women. The Albanese Labor government has set itself a goal of ending violence against women and children within a generation. Australia has never set itself an ambition like this before, and it's not going to be easy. We must try because the status quo is not good enough.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed 2.7 million women have experienced partner violence or abuse. The 2021-22 Personal Safety Survey also found that women living in households under financial stress were more than twice as likely to face violence or abuse and that more than 300,000 women were pregnant when they experienced violence by their partner. First Nations women experience disproportionately high rates of violence. Women with disability in Australia are twice as likely to have experienced sexual violence over their lifetime than women without disability. And lesbian, bisexual and queer women experience higher rates of sexual violence than heterosexual women in Australia.
On Saturday 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we announced a new statistical dashboard that will provide more timely reporting on intimate partner violence. We know that to end violence we must be able to measure it. Understanding the scale of the issue with accurate, verified, closer-to-real-time data is critical. The new dashboard, with quarterly updates initially, will enable police, governments, policymakers and those who are working to end violence against women and children to better understand what is happening and when.
This comes on top of our funding for consent and respectful relationships education; sexual violence prevention pilots; support of the work of Our Watch, the national leading organisation for primary prevention of family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia; and the development of a national perpetrator risk assessment framework to identify risks posed by perpetrators and support earlier intervention.
The Albanese Labor government is taking immediate and practical steps to prevent family and domestic violence and better support victim-survivors with a $2.3 billion investment in this area. We’ve released a 10-year national plan to end violence against women and children, including a dedicated plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We’ve added 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave to the National Employment Standards, reduced time for victims-survivors to access the Escaping Violence Payment, secured funding for the delivery of frontline services and have committed to growing this workforce. We’ve increased financial support for temporary visa holders experiencing violence, and we’re making the family law system simpler and safer for people fleeing family violence.
It's going to take every level of government, business, schools, sports clubs, families and neighbourhoods—every part of our community—to work with us to make this ambition a realistic goal. Let's keep women and children safe in Australia.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Freelander): Is the motion seconded?
Ms Mascarenhas: I second the motion and reserve my rights.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank the member for Swan. The motion is seconded. The question is the motion be agreed to.