Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, said Australia has taken a great stride forward in eliminating one of the greatest human rights abuses that exists in our country today by releasing the new National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children 2010-2022.

“By releasing this National Plan today the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments have taken a giant step toward addressing possibly the gravest manifestation of gender inequality we can witness,” Commissioner Broderick said. “It is incredibly important for the very large and often hidden group of women in this country that, every day, live their lives in fear within an intimate or family relationship.

“This form of intimate violence knows no geographic, demographic, financial or racial boundaries,” said Commissioner Broderick. “It is a truly national problem and for that reason it is cause to celebrate that this is a truly national response – its adoption and implementation will assist women who live their lives in violence and fear and are among the most vulnerable in our society.”

Commissioner Broderick said that she was particularly heartened that the governments of Australia had endorsed this national plan today in light of her recent visits with domestic violence workers and victims of violence in shelters around Australia over recent months.

“This is a landmark development and one which will significantly assist the more than 300000 women that experience violence in Australia every year, and their children, to live lives that are free from abuse and fear”, said Commissioner Broderick.

“I am extremely pleased that the Plan addresses both domestic violence and sexual assault, two major forms of violence against women,” said Commissioner Broderick. “It is tremendously important that the plan adopts a cooperative, holistic approach, with a focus on prevention, resourcing and integration of services and holding perpetrators to account.’”

Noting that a National Centre of Excellence will be established to develop a national research agenda and undertake national data collection and reporting, Commissioner Broderick said she still had concerns that a Plan of this size and significance will need to be rigorously and independently monitored and evaluated.

Commissioner Broderick welcomed the fact that this Plan responds to the recommendations of the United National Universal Periodic Review of Australia as well as the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, both of which called for a National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children and its implementation.

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