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Time to eliminate violence against women.

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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/1091 THURSDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2004 SENATOR NATASHA STOTT DESPOJA AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS STATUS OF WOMEN SPOKESPERSON TIME TO ELIMINATE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Today’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is timely given last week’s recommended changes to the laws on self defence and recent cases of women murdered, allegedly by their husbands or former husbands. Democrats' Status of Women Spokesperson Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said violence is a reality for millions of women around the world, irrespective of their race, culture or age. "Recent killings such as the tragic and cold-blooded killing of Carol Schaer, allegedly by her husband, in the Myer department store last week, highlight the too often ignored issue of violence against women,” Senator Stott Despoja said. "I welcome last week’s Victorian Law Reform Commission’s recommendation calling for the abolition of the partial defence of provocation, and changing self-defence laws so a woman who kills her husband can claim self defence if she believes a threat to her life was inevitable even if not immediate. "I appeal to the other States to conduct similar reviews into this national crisis. More needs to be done to draw attention to this insidious crime. Men, especially young men, need to be educated that violence only causes problems and never solves them. "While I support the Federal Government’s new anti-violence campaign - which involves showing high school students a video of a teenager left brain damaged after being bashed by her boyfriend - the Government needs to go further, and dedicate more money and resources to the issue. "The UN’s 16 day campaign - which begins today - highlights all forms of gender violence, sexual violence and physical violence including in the home, the community, the armed forces and against refugees. Violence against women is an endemic problem in Australian society which is notoriously difficult to measure because it is a crime that remains mostly hidden.” Senator Stott Despoja is actively supporting White Ribbon Day organised by Unifem, which targets men to make a personal pledge not to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. Media contact - Raina Hunter - 0402 145 820