Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — The month of November is the G21 Month of Action to stop violence against women in the Geelong region. From 25 October to 25 November businesses and community members are encouraged to join the fight against violence through this month of action. Violence against women is the largest cause of death, disability and illness for women aged between 15 and 44. Nearly one in five women have been exposed to sexual assault since the age of 15. In Australia, intimate partner homicides account for one-fifth of all homicides. Four out of five of these homicides involve a man killing his female partner. More than a third of all crimes against a person committed in the 2012-13 financial year related to family violence. Under the Napthine government the number of family violence offences has increased by 21.6 per cent in the last year. That is right: nearly 22 per cent.
These statistics are shocking and present to the public the magnitude of this problem. Yet the Napthine government has cut funding for programs that tackle the issue of family violence, such as axing Labor’s $24.7 million family violence package and replacing it with a substandard $7 million plan. We must continue to educate and encourage the whole community to influence and eliminate the underlying determinants of violence against women, not cut valuable programs. I also encourage community members to attend Reclaim the Night on Friday, 25 October, from 6.00 p.m. until 9.00 p.m. at Market Square, Geelong, and join others in speaking out to end violence against women.