Page 3444 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 25 November 1992

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .


MS FOLLETT (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (3.02): Madam Speaker, for the information of members, I present the National Strategy on Violence Against Women, prepared by the National Committee on Violence Against Women, and I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Madam Speaker, recently I attended the fourth meeting of the Commonwealth-State Ministerial Conference on the Status of Women. At this meeting the Prime Minister and the ministerial conference were presented with a strategy aimed at achieving the elimination of violence against women. Today I wish to commend this strategy, the National Strategy on Violence Against Women, to this Assembly and to highlight the issues it discusses and the recommendations it makes.

This Government is firmly committed to the objectives of the strategy and will be giving its recommendations very careful consideration. I would like to take the opportunity today to describe a number of important ways in which the ACT has already taken action which is relevant to the objectives of the strategy, and to outline the process which will now be followed in considering further ways to give effect to these objectives.

Madam Speaker, the National Strategy on Violence Against Women is the result of extensive work by the National Committee on Violence Against Women. This committee was established by the Commonwealth Government in 1990 to investigate the issue of violence against women in Australian society. The 19 committee members are drawn from Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, the police force and the community. The ACT is represented on the committee by a government representative and by a community representative from the Rape Crisis Centre. The committee's development of the strategy follows significant research, consultation and discussion on the national legal, policy and service delivery issues associated with dealing with violence against women in our society.

Violence against women is one of the most significant concerns in our community. It is a fundamental violation of human rights we can afford neither to condone nor to allow to continue. The costs to individual women and to society are enormous. Violence, and the threat of violence, deprive many women of their ability to live equally in our society. Contrary to public perception, most violence is perpetrated in the home rather than on the street. Evidence of this is provided by the fact that every year in the ACT the Domestic Violence Crisis Service is approached as the first point of contact by about 3,000 women, or about 3 per cent of our adult female population.

The national strategy deals with male violence against women in all its forms. It also seeks to identify and refute the popularised myths which obscure the reality of this violence. The strategy provides us with a background to the problem of violence against women, including the cost to society. It also raises

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .