Thursday 20 November, 2014

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (12:30): I also rise today to support this motion and commend the member for Stuart for bringing it to the attention of the house. I support White Ribbon Day in its entirety, and I also encourage men to swear an oath to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

As you have heard, White Ribbon is Australia's only national male-led campaign to end men's violence against women. They have a great vision for all women to live in safety, free from all forms of men's violence. We have heard a little bit about their mission today. It is clear that women's safety is certainly a man's issue as well. I note that this group's ongoing campaign works through many initiatives: primary initiatives involving awareness raising, education, and various programs not only with youth in schools but also workplaces and across the broader community.

We have also heard that, globally, White Ribbon is actually the world's largest male-led movement to end men's violence against women. It originated, I believe, in Canada in 1991, and is now active in more than 60 countries across the world. It began in Australia in 2003 as part of UNIFEM, which is now UN Women, and formally became a foundation in 2007.

The campaign obviously runs all year, but I wanted to bring to members' attention that there is a wide array of ways in which they can become part of White Ribbon. I certainly intend to take the oath in due course, but I note that there are six main ways of becoming involved in White Ribbon. One is to become an ambassador, another is to become an advocate and another is to be involved through the workplace, then through schools and with young people. You can also become a supporter through grassroots activities and then, finally, you can also become a partner to engage with and be involved in the strategic activities to expand the reach and impact of White Ribbon.

I was looking at some of the statistics, and some of them have been brought to the attention of members today, in relation to violence against women. The facts that I saw were amazing in regard to how large this issue is. I will certainly put my weight behind supporting this cause wherever I can, both in this place and also in my electorate.

I note that close to half of all women—they say about 40 per cent—have experienced violence since the age of 15. Not only that, it is said that just under one-third of women have experienced physical assault. In addition, it is shocking to hear that, of that number, nearly one in five women have experienced sexual assault, and nearly one in six women have experienced violence from a current or previous partner in their lifetime.

This is a massive issue. I commend again the member for Stuart for bringing this motion to the attention of the house. I think we all have a duty here as elected representatives of this place to get involved and support this worthy and admirable cause wherever we can. I commend the motion to the house.