AT least one woman a week in Australia is killed by a current or former partner, shocking statistics show.
Information from the Australian Institute of Criminology indicates that 36 per cent of all homicides take place in a domestic setting and 73 per cent of those involve a woman being killed by her male partner.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data indicates one in three Australian women over the age of 15 reports having experienced physical or sexual violence at some time in their lives.
Domestic violence not only takes its toll on those directly affected, it also hits the Australian economy hard. In the 2009 Time for Action report, it was estimated that violence against women and children costs the Australian economy $13.6 billion a year. This figure was expected to reach $15.6 billion a year by 2021.
Violence against women also impacts on the nation’s homeless figures.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report, Specialist Homelessness Services 2011-12, showed that people experiencing domestic violence made up a third of the 230,000 Australians who accessed specialist homelessness services in that period. The report also showed that of such clients, 78 per cent were female.
These statistics are shocking, but true.
Domestic violence knows no socio-economic boundaries, no age boundaries, no religious or race boundaries.
But White Ribbon Australia, the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women, hopes to significantly reduce these statistics through its extensive media and education programs.
Through prevention initiatives and an annual campaign, culminating on November 25 with White Ribbon Day, White Ribbon Australia hopes to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead men to become violent against women.
They are encouraging boys and men to lead the change.
The White Ribbon campaign is encouraging Australians – particularly males – to make a pledge to stop violence against women.
The campaign recognises the positive role men play in preventing violence against women – who are not just statistics, but wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, aunties and friends.
Part of the campaign also acknowledges that ‘violence’ is not just physical, but encompasses all forms, including sexual, emotional and financial.