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​New cross-party family violence forum a step in the right direction

October 20 2014 By Hannah Grant, Media Relations Officer, Our Watch

The establishment of the Parliamentarians Against Family Violence forum is an important sign of cross-party commitment to the issue of family and domestic violence, said Paul Linossier, Chief Executive Officer, Our Watch.

A photo of Labor MP Tim Watts, National MP Andrew Broad and Liberal MP Ken Wyatt with signs saying I'm a Parliamentarian Against Family Violence. Image

Instigated by Labor MP Tim Watts, National MP Andrew Broad and Liberal MP Ken Wyatt, the forum will host speakers on issues related to family and domestic violence and provide the opportunity for cross-party policy development.

“The issue of family violence is beyond politics, however it is good to see this issue generating the serious, cross-party attention it warrants,” said Mr Linossier.

“It is vital that leadership on this issue reverberates across state and party lines to achieve a truly collaborative and sustainable response. This is the only way we will change a culture that allows more than one woman every week to be murdered by her current or former partner.”

Our Watch Chair and Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, said that leadership on violence against women and their children must span not only politics, but institutions, schools, workplaces and the community to achieve results.

“The guest speaker at the forum launch, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, Chief of the Australian Navy, reminds us that leadership at all levels in society, especially in male-dominated institutions or organisations, is essential if we are to change the attitudes that support gender inequality and violence against women,” said Ms Stott Despoja

“Violence against women in Australia is a national emergency.

“Domestic and family violence make up more than 40 per cent of all crimes against the person. 1 in 5 Australian women has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.

“To reduce violence against women we must invest in prevention, early intervention as well as response and support.

“The establishment of the Parliamentarians Against Family Violence forum is a step in the right direction to this end,” she said.

Media contact

For enquiries or further information: Hannah Grant, Our Watch, mobile 0448 844 930, email Hannah.Grant@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:
“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000”

About Our Watch 

Our Watch’s (previously the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children) purpose is to raise awareness and engage the community in action to prevent violence against women and their children.
Our Watch was conceived of and brought into existence in 2013 by the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Victoria. The Northern Territory and South Australian governments have also since become members of the organisation.
Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and gives expression to many of the activities in the Second Action Plan 2013–2016 – Moving Ahead.