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Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Page: 641


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:08): Madam Speaker, I wish to note that this is the 10th anniversary of White Ribbon Day here in Australia. White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all of us to recommit ourselves to the struggle against violence directed towards women. I would love to be able to say that violence against women was a thing of the past, but to suggest that it was would be to mislead this parliament. Regrettably, on average once a week a woman in Australia is a fatal casualty of domestic violence. Most regrettably, one woman in three has experienced physical violence, invariably at the hands of men.

So this is an appropriate occasion to rededicate ourselves to this important task, to rededicate ourselves to letting the young men of our country, in particular, know that a strong man never practises violence. In particular, a strong man never practises violence against the vulnerable. In particular, a strong man is never responsible for violence against women. It is important that we all do what we can to ensure that this message gets out. It is important to do what we can to protect the women of Australia.

In my electorate, my wife and I have been responsible for helping to support the Manly Women's Shelter, for which the Pollie Pedal has raised some $300,000 over the last two years. But what we can do individually we can also help to do collectively, and I am pleased to be able to say, on the 10th anniversary of White Ribbon Day in this country, that the government today announced the pledging of an additional $1 million over the next four years to the work of White Ribbon Day, particularly in promoting amongst communities where this message is particularly urgent the importance of respecting the dignity and the persons of women.

As the father of three daughters, I am determined to do everything I can as a citizen and as a Prime Minister to ensure that all the women of Australia, and indeed all the women of the world, receive appropriate respect from their menfolk and never suffer violence at their hands.