Sunday 24 November 2013

From today, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10th December, International Human Rights Day, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, will be sharing information about violence against women on Facebook and Twitter and encouraging people to take part in a national conversation about this issue.

“In Australia, too many women live in fear of violence every day,” Commissioner Broderick said. “It is unbelievable to me that in 2013, we still have not managed to achieve a world where women are safe from violence in their homes, from sexual harassment in the workplace and free from discrimination in their lives.”

“We know that when most people think of violence against women, they think of the physical and verbal abuse that many women endure,” Ms Broderick said. “Unfortunately, women are also subject to a range of other forms of violence, from sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace to a male partner’s control over the family finances. “

As a country, we continue to remain too silent on the issue of violence against women.

“This silence is why we need to recognise leadership in this area – leadership of workplaces like the City of Sydney or NAB who have included domestic and family violence clauses in their enterprise agreements,” Ms Broderick said. “Or the leadership of Ken Lay, Commissioner of Victoria Police who actively campaigns against such violence, or Lt. General David Morrison who recently captured the attention of the whole country with his words ‘the standard you walk past is the standard you accept’.”

Commissioner Broderick said that talking about leaders and their commitment to ending violence against women helps raise awareness about the issue and, more importantly, places violence against women at the forefront of people’s minds.

“When people think that violence against women is serious – whether it’s sexual harassment or sexual assault, or domestic and family violence – when they understand how harmful it is, they are more likely to take action and speak out against it.”

Commissioner Broderick said she welcomed the leadership of Commissioners, Gooda, Innes and Soutphommasane and other men who are White Ribbon Ambassadors and have taken a stand to help eradicate violence against women and girls.

Commissioner Broderick said she hoped the Commission’s social media activity for the 16 Days campaign would assist in promoting leadership and awareness of the ongoing importance of striving to eliminate violence against women in all its forms.