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Our Watch Ambassador, Rosie Batty, addresses parliamentarians on family violence

March 2, 2015 / Our Watch media team

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Rosie Batty will today address the second Parliamentarians Against Family Violence forum on what can be done to ensure women are supported and to reduce the alarming rates of violence against women and their children across the country.

A group of male parliamentarians in suits stand in Parliament House grounds with Our Watch CEO Paul Linossier and Rosie Batty, who has shoulder length red blond hair and is wearing a white dress. They are all smiling.

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

Cross-party commitment is important to the issue of family and domestic violence, said Ms Batty, however she stressed that there is still a long way to go to see an Australia free from violence.

“Family violence is the greatest social epidemic of our time; it is corroding the fabric of Australian society. The damage it does to women’s ability to participate in everyday life is enormous,” she said.

“One in three Australian women – regardless of age, ethnicity, birth place, social economic circumstances, level of education and geographical location – will experience a physical and/or sexual assault in their lifetime.

“The elimination of violence against women must remain a priority for all governments. Investment in prevention and frontline services is the only way we will reduce this blight from our society,” said Ms Batty.

Also speaking at the event, Our Watch Chief Executive Officer Paul Linossier, said it is crucial members of parliament hear directly from survivors of family and domestic violence to fully understand the impact of such violence.

“Rosie has, and continues to, face unimaginable pain as a result of family violence. She speaks to the circumstance of millions of Australian women who have experienced physical, sexual and/or psychological violence,” said Mr Linossier.

“In Australia, violence against women is the leading contributor to ill health and disability in women aged 15-44 and this is unacceptable.

“The good news is that violence against women and their children is preventable – Australia can choose to be a nation where women and their children live free from fear, intimidation and control.

“The evidence is clear – we can prevent violence against women and their children if we address inequalities in power, challenge gender stereotypes and promote broad based attitudinal and behavioural change.

“It is vital that leadership on this issue reverberates across all governments and institutions.” said Mr Linossier.

Labor MP Tim Watts said that it is particularly important that Members of Parliament understand the causes and impacts of family violence in the community.

“That’s why we set up this group, so that MPs from all sides of politics can learn how to be effective leaders in their communities, and in Canberra, in the fight against family violence,” he said.

Media contact

Laurelle Keough (laurelle.keough@ourwatch.org.au or 0448 844 930)

*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, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.”

To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit Media Making Change.

Find out more about our work to end violence against women in Australia.

The evidence
Woman holding baby.