Local, Independant and Effective

Community stands up to end violence against women

Posted March 03, 2016


CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (13:36): Today I focus my comments on women's safety, particularly the safety of women who live in rural and regional Australia. Women need to feel safe in their homes and communities, and, for many women, this is not the case. Addressing the problem of violence against women needs a whole-of community approach.

Everybody needs to stand up, speak out and take action. In Wangaratta people are standing up, speaking out and taking action. Women's Health Goulburn North East, based in Wangaratta, has undertaken groundbreaking research on this issue, publishing the reports Preventing violence against girls and women before it occurs and Beating the flames: women escaping and surviving Black Saturday.

Next Sunday a public rally, 'Enough is Enough', will be held in Wangaratta. Congratulations to the organisers, Tania Maxwell and Carol Roadknight. The rally's call is for community safety to be the No. 1 priority. As we celebrate International Women's Day, it is important that the whole of the community stands up, speaks out and takes action to get change; that our laws reflect community sentiment; and that we have trust in our court system to deliver appropriate sentences.

I will take any issues from the rally that can be resolved at the federal level to Canberra. I stand here today proudly supporting safety for all people in their homes, and I particularly say to Wangaratta: well done, thank you for taking action and I look forward to hearing a report of the rally.

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