As a White Ribbon ambassador, I am very pleased to speak on this motion today ahead of White Ribbon Day, this Friday, 25 November. This year's theme is 'Stand up, speak out and act'. It is incredibly sad to think that one in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual abuse perpetrated by someone known to her and that, on average, one woman a week is killed by a current or former partner. I pledge today to stand up, speak out and act for women in my life and in my community. I draw your attention to #AMansIssueToo.
White Ribbon Australia's vision is of a nation that respects women and in which every woman lives in safety, free of all forms of abuse. Through education, awareness-raising campaigns, prevention programs and partnerships, White Ribbon Australia highlights the positive role that men play in preventing men's violence against women and supports them to be part of this social change.
This Friday, there will be White Ribbon Day events taking place right across my electorate of Leichhardt. On Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, there will be street activities to raise awareness. In Douglas Shire, a White Ribbon twilight walk takes place from 5.30 till 7.30 pm on Front Street in Mossman. It is a free event followed by guest speakers, information stalls, entertainment and refreshments. In Cairns, TAFE Queensland North is holding a show of hands event at 11.30 am, where invitees can sign the pledge and enjoy a barbecue with staff and students.
Nationally, the Turnbull government is taking important steps to tackle domestic violence and family violence. At the end of October the Prime Minister launched the third action plan for the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. This $100 million plan provides the leadership, policies and resources needed to make a real difference in keeping women and children safe. It sets out 36 practical actions under six key areas. These are: preventing and intervening early; improving responses and supports for Indigenous Australians; providing greater support and choice for women and children; sharpening the focus on sexual violence; responding to children living with violence; and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.
During the election campaign I welcomed the commitment of $25 million within the action plan for specific measures to address violence against Indigenous women. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised and 10 times more likely to be killed as a result of domestic violence than are women in the broader community. Targeted investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is critical to saving lives and to disrupting intergenerational cycles of violence, dysfunction and disadvantage. These funds will help to improve the quality and accessibility of services in Indigenous communities, train a skilled workforce, provide culturally appropriate and community-led perpetrator programs, boost legal services, help kids to access information through technology and to build on the national Stop it at the Start campaign. It continues the work that is already underway through the coalition's $100 million Women's Safety Package, introduced in September 2015.
In my electorate, the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service, led by CEO, Amanda Lee-Ross, is very proactive in prevention, early intervention, education and crisis activities. This year, the team started a Tablelands service, which has received a warm welcome from the community. Just last week they launched in the southern Tablelands, with a domestic violence worker now based in Ravenshoe Community Centre.
I encourage women in these communities to come forward and just talk to someone if they are feeling threatened or experiencing violence. The service is also driving the Community Champions Ending Violence Against Women project. This federally-funded leadership program for community members, business and other groups aims to create and nurture a culture of intolerance towards domestic and family violence and improve their responses as a community. After a two-day course, the champions host an activity in their community, whether it is a morning tea to raise awareness or to develop a workplace policy. Anybody interested in taking part in these programs can contact the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service on (07)40336100.
This Friday, remember that domestic violence hurts us all. It ruins the lives of individuals, destroys families and breaks communities. It simply has to stop.