Saturday marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the beginning of 16 days of action. As we know too well, too many women and children in Australia face violence in their own homes and communities. One in three women have experienced gender based violence, and we know that so many women this year have, tragically, lost their lives. There is a strong disconnect between the recognition of domestic violence as a problem in Australia, which 91 per cent of Australians believe, and the recognition that it's a problem in our own areas, which only 47 per cent of people believe. Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any age, cultural background, education or income level and in any place around our country.
This year the campaign for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is: 'UNiTE! Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls.' This year's campaign calls on citizens to share the actions they are taking to create a world free from violence towards women and is calling on governments to share how they are investing in violence prevention. I am incredibly proud to be part of a government committed to ending violence against women and their children; I want to commend the leadership of the Minister for Social Services in this, as well as our Prime Minister. This year is the first year of the new National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children. We are working with the states and territories to create tangible change, including through ambitious targets. We must all unite together to end violence against women.