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Federal Government to tackle domestic violenc -

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Reporter: Michael Turtle

PETER CAVE: The Federal Government has launched a new $42-million plan to tackle violence against
women and children.

It comes after an investigation into the scale of the problem found that a third of Australian
women will be assaulted during their lifetime.

The Prime Minister has announced the Government will set up a new 24-hour hotline and crisis

But the biggest focus is on prevention - and the aim is to teach boys from a young age that
violence is completely unacceptable.

Youth affairs reporter, Michael Turtle, explains.

MICHAEL TURTLE: It was at a school in Canberra's suburbs that the Prime Minister chose to launch
the Federal Government's new anti-violence campaign.

KEVIN RUDD: Hi guys, how are you.

RAY: Morning, good thank you.

KEVIN RUDD: Roy, is it?

RAY: Ray.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The message Kevin Rudd was trying to send was clear - that the attitudes men have
towards women are formed in these young, developing years and it's then that those attitudes can be
moulded correctly.

KEVIN RUDD: To you, the young people of this school and surrounding schools, where are you? Put
your hands up. Hi guys.

Um, you are a big part of the script today.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The Government's plan is based on a new major report by the National Council to
Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

It's found one in three women will be physically assaulted in their lifetime, and one in five
sexually assaulted. And it's found financially, violence against women will cost the Australian
economy $13.6-billion this year.

The council has made 20 priority recommendations, and the Government will implement 18 of them.

KEVIN RUDD: There are many causes of violence against women, but there is one main cause and that
is the attitude of men towards women.

MICHAEL TURTLE: There's $12.5-million for a new national telephone and online crisis service. It'll
run 24-hours a day and be able to refer people to other services if needed.

But the focus is on primary prevention - particularly for young males. Nine million dollars will go
towards improving programs for school age children.

The programs aim to show young men how to treat women and they'll be available not just to those
still in school.

KEVIN RUDD: It is critical that all people, particularly young people develop the skills to
maintain respectful relationships. Respectful relationships programs will be implemented mostly in
mainstream school settings and will reach up to 8,000 young people over a period of five years.

Programs will also be implemented in non-school settings and will target vulnerable young people
including those with intellectual disability, young people who have left school and young people
living in remote communities.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The National Rugby League has also partnered with the respectful relationships
program, and will train former players to help with educating younger club members.

And the Government will commit $17-million for a public information campaign - also aimed mainly at
young men. It will use social marketing tools to try to change the attitudes of the current

KEVIN RUDD: The whole point here is that people can look to role models to inspire them to live
their life free of violence.

We have to make sure that the mistakes of the past are not, are not repeated in the future.

MICHAEL TURTLE: But while the Prime Minister is heralding the new plan, it has been slammed by the
former sex discrimination commissioner and former executive director of the Office of the Status of
Women, Pru Goward.

She says it won't work, because it wasn't developed in consultation with the states and territories
and doesn't provide enough on-the-ground resources.

PRU GOWARD: When you introduce a national call centre and it has been talked about many times
before and always rejected, all you do is have woman waiting in Kununurra and Cairns and Hobart for
help that relies on knowledge of local services that aren't there.

And you also increase demand for local services that again, aren't there.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The Prime Minister does say he is going to take these matters to COAG (Council of
Australian Governments) though and discuss it there. Isn't that exactly what you are asking for?

PRU GOWARD: Well, isn't that great. You announce the package, you decide what you are going to do
and then you go to the states for a tick-off. I can tell you because we did that 11 years ago -
that doesn't work either.

MICHAEL TURTLE: Anti-domestic violence groups say the Federal Government has made a step in the
right direction.

But they agree with Pru Goward that real change can only occur, if the state and territory
governments get on board.

Isabel McCrea is the executive director of the White Ribbon Foundation.

ISABEL MCCREA: There won't be any substitute for everyone working together now over the next year
to bring in the full implementation of the plan across all those different jurisdictions. It is
simply too complicated a problem that requires quite sophisticated solutions.

MICHAEL TURTLE: Whether the states and territories get on board is yet to be seen. The issue will
be taken to COAG and the Prime Minister has called on all governments to support the

PETER CAVE: Michael Turtle with that report.