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AASW: Violence against women is one of our most pervasive and preventable human rights violations

Published: 24 November 2017

AASW: Violence against women is one of our most pervasive and preventable human rights violations

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November) is an important date for governments and the community as whole to raise awareness and commit to seriously addressing what is one of Australia’s most pervasive and preventable human rights violations, Australian Association of Social Workers’ National President, Christine Craik, said today.

“Violence against women is an ongoing and systemic issue, embedded in our culture that affects the dignity and wellbeing of so many women with devastating impacts across the entire community”, she said.

“We must never forget that gender violence is a daily reality for so many women, both in Australia and all over the world.”

“Recent statistics have shown that 3.4 million Australian women have experienced violence since the age of 15. Also concerning is the fact that violence is disproportionately experienced by women who are Indigenous, living in rural and remote areas, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, or with disabilities.”

These shocking figures highlight the significance of the theme for this year: Leave no one behind.

“The theme for this year is about making sure every voice is heard, in particular women and girls from marginalised groups and communities.”

“While Australia has made some important policy changes in recent times, social workers on the frontline have not seen a great deal of difference in the lives of the women who come to them for assistance.”

“We need to understand that violence against women is directly linked to gender inequality, with the majority of women and men holding unequal positions of power in Australian society. Significant structural and cultural change is needed to reduce and eradicate violence against women.”

“Violence against women is a preventable epidemic. Our work won’t be over until there is a complete shift in community attitudes and that family and home are a safe place to be in reality, not just in myth”, she said.

The AASW represents over 10,000 professional social workers, many of whom practice in the field of family violence.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers