Commissioner hits out
The Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick has used the recent International Women’s Day to draw attention to the world-wide problem of violence against women.
at violence attitudes
Ms Broderick said Australians had a tendency to believe violence against women was mainly a problem in other countries.
“As my personal experience working in this area at the Australian Human Rights Commission has shown me, it is an enormous problem in this country and happening all around us – to women of all backgrounds and income levels, women with disability, older, migrant, refugee, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and women of diverse sex, sexuality or gender,” Ms Broderick said.
She said research showed that one in three women in Australia had experienced physical violence at some time since the age of 15.
She said of those women, 85 per cent were assaulted by a current or former partner, family, friend or other known male and three quarters of the physical assaults occurred in the woman’s home.
Ms Broderick said violence against women was the worst form of discrimination against women, and domestic and family violence represented the ultimate betrayal within an intimate relationship.
“Domestic and family violence means that many women enter their own homes each day in a state of raw fear,” she said.
“Added to this is the intense pressure and stress of trying to navigate violent behaviour while very often also trying to keep children, other family members and pets safe.”
She said in some cases even the workplace did not provide a haven from abuse.
“Of the respondents to the 2011 National Domestic Violence and the Workplace Survey who reported experiencing violence, 19 per cent said that the violence had continued in the workplace, including through abusive phone calls and emails and the perpetrator presenting at the workplace of the victim,” Ms Broderick said.
Edition 352, 12 March 2013