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Minister supports campaign against sexual violence

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The Hon Wendy Fatin MR Minister for Local Government Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women

October 25, 1991


The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon Wendy Fatin MP, has urged women and men throughout Australia to speak out against sexual violence and support tonight’s Reclaim the Night campaign.

"I support this campaign wholeheartedly," Ms Fatin said. "It is up to all of us to break the silence which surrounds this crime.

"Somebody’s sister, somebody’s wife, somebody’s child, somebody’s life. That’s how sexual violence affects every Australian."

"That’s why we must all work towards a society which does not tolerate sexual violence and which condemns this violation of women and children."

Ms Fatin welcomed the Australian Police Ministers’ Council recommendation this week to confiscate firearms and weapons held by anyone subject to a protection order.

"The Police Ministers also resolved that domestic violence offenders should have their gun licenses suspended, and that police should have the power to seize firearms temporarily where such action is warranted," Ms Fatin said.

"These important reforms will be put to the Special Premiers’ Conference next month and represent a major step forward for women."

Ms Fatin said that in NSW last year, 3001 Apprehended Violence Orders were made in respect of domestic violence in only four months, from March to June. In WA, almost 40 per cent of homicides in 1987/88 occured in the family home. All the victims were women and children. In Queensland, a 1988 survey showed that 88 per cent of respondents had been physically abused by their partners.

"Statistics like these are simply unacceptable," Ms Fatin said. "Women have a fundamental right to safety in private and in public."

Contact: Ruth Dewsbury (06) 277 7240