International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Main Image

By Jodie Harrison MP

25 November 2022

Today, the global community will come together to acknowledge the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Notably, this period of activism ends on Human Rights Day, sending a clear message: Women’s rights are human rights.
In Australia, on average one woman is murdered every single week by her current or former partner. One in 4 Australian women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former cohabitating partner.
In NSW, 63,554 domestic violence related assaults occurred over the 24-month period to March 2021. In the same timeframe, sexual assault in NSW increased by 14.4 per cent to 7,272 incidents.
This month, an important step forward was taken by the NSW Parliament when the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Coercive Control) Bill 2022 passed both houses, making coercive control a standalone offence.
This important Bill followed years of campaigning, including a private members bill introduced in 2020 by NSW Labor.
This was the first step in an ongoing journey and if NSW Labor form Government we will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure we can improve on this and continue in the right direction.
This legislation highlighted an integral message for all sides of the political spectrum, that gender based violence will only end if we work together and offer bipartisan support for meaningful action.  
In July 2022 NSW Labor announced that a Minns Labor Government will provide an additional $923,000 a year to the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline to ensure that this vital support can continue to provide critical, 24/7 state-wide specialist counselling service for people impacted by sexual violence.
In the vein of bringing the required bipartisan approach to ending gender based abuse, NSW Labor reiterate our call for the Liberal National Government to match this funding commitment, to ensure that such essential services continue and are accessible, regardless of who forms  government following the election in March.
The responsibility to end gender inequality and gender based violence is one borne by every single citizen. However, those of us who have been  entrusted with the privilege of serving in public office hold an even greater responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless and to lead change which will make our community safer for women.  
In the face of such shameful statistics, 
days like today truly matter. They challenge us to think about the society we must try and build and to renew our commitment to doing so. Such statistics are not inevitable.
Women's rights are human rights and we each must play our part in protecting them.