Wednesday is White Ribbon Day, Australia's only national male-led campaign to end men's violence against women. White Ribbon Day was prompted by a massacre of 14 female students at a school in Montreal in Canada. In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, with a white ribbon as its iconic symbol. In 2003 White Ribbon Day began here in Australia.
Intimate partner violence is the most common type of violence against women, affecting 30 per cent of women worldwide. One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them. Every week, three women are hospitalised for head injuries caused by their male partner. Every month in Australia, six women die at the hands of an intimate member of their family. This year, 62 women have died as a result of domestic violence in Australia, including, just recently in September, Tara Brown from near my electorate.
Domestic and family violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and their children. In my office, we have helped a number of women who have come to us seeking assistance, looking for help in leaving abusive relationships. We have been able to assist many of them by relocating them, getting them back on track and rebuilding their confidence. That is one of the wonderful parts of being a federal member: being able to help those in need. This is why I am showing my support for this wonderful cause and taking the White Ribbon Oath. I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men's violence against women. I would like to encourage my colleagues and everyone on Wednesday to take the White Ribbon Oath. In doing so, we will send a message to young boys and men.