Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 4624..


MS DUNDAS (continuing):

assault to the police. One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. One in three women across the world have been raped. In Australia nearly 40 per cent of all women who have experienced violence tell somebody about it, but only 15 per cent tell police. So it is no wonder that the problem of violence against women has not been very well recognised at a public level. In close to half of all attacks on women, someone known to the victim is the perpetrator.

Campaigns have been under way for a number of years to assist women suffering from domestic violence. But we need to rethink how these campaigns operate, Now not only is domestic violence being perpetrated against women by their partners, it is also being perpetrated by children, who have learnt from their parents that violence is the only way to get what they want. We need to intervene quite seriously to stop the cycle of violence continuing.

There is work being done by the Domestic Violence Crisis Centre, to help children who have witnessed domestic violence and see it as a way to obtain what they want. However, they are pilot programs which need ongoing funding and support. If we are serious about breaking the cycle of violence, more work needs to be done with children who are learning that violence is the quickest and easiest way to get what they want.

Violence prevention work needs to be done to change the attitudes of males. We are still waiting for better statistics on assault and better statistics on how and where sexual assaults are taking place. Women need to know when to feel safe in public spaces. We can target our campaigns to make sure that assaults do not happen. We need more resources for education to change attitudes towards violence. This is particularly pertinent when more studies are coming out showing that most young men believe sexual intercourse with a woman without consent is acceptable in some circumstances-mainly where the woman is intoxicated or has "led them on". These are disturbing trends that are coming through in young men in our community and need to be stopped.

There are many things that can be done by governments. The minister talked today about programs already in place, but even simpler things can be done such as working with ACTION so women can be dropped off closer to their homes, rather than at a bus stop when catching buses late at night. Simple things can happen. We all need to take action personally to change the attitudes of the people around us, so that everyone knows violence against women is never acceptable.

I thank all members who have worn a white ribbon today and made the statement that violence is unacceptable. I encourage all members of this place, and all members of our community to recognise the international day for the elimination of violence against women not just today but every day.

International Men's Day

MR CORNWELL (4.42): I must admit that, when I came in here today, I thought I was in the middle of a group of Yorkists but I could see no Lancastrian red roses. Nevertheless, I discovered that it was in fact the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. I have no objection to this day, although I feel that, unfortunately, in these days of political correctness, femo-fascists and affirmative action, we should also have some access and equity applied. How many members realise


Next page . . . . Previous page. . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search