Australian Government coat of arms

Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Tony Abbott MP

Address to White Ribbon Australia Breakfast - 10 Year Anniversary, Parliament House

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Prime Minister

E&OE

Thanks very much, Ken. Madam Speaker, Opposition Leader, Senator Milne, Parliamentary colleagues.

I am pleased to be here today on the 10th anniversary of White Ribbon’s formation in Australia.

I wish I could say that violence against women was no longer a problem in our country but I can’t, because if I tried to say that, it simply wouldn’t be true.

It is still a problem.

As that powerful advertisement makes clear, every week a woman is a victim, a fatality of domestic violence, and sadly, one in three women have experienced physical violence in their lives, invariably at the hands of men.

So, there is a very long journey that we as a nation and as a culture have yet to make.

All of us need to do what we can.

Many of us here are White Ribbon ambassadors. There’s much that each of us can do individually.

I’ve done some work in my own area with the Manly Womens Shelter. My wife is a patron of the Manly Womens Shelter. I’ve raised some money for the Manly Womens Shelter.

All of us can do more to get the message out there that strong men are not violent.

Truly strong men do whatever they can to stop violence, particularly violence against the most vulnerable.

I’m pleased to say that the Government will commit an extra $1 million to the White Ribbon campaign over the next four years – particularly to try to ensure that the message goes out to communities where perhaps it has not yet been heard as strongly as it should.

I am the father of three daughters and I am determined to do whatever I can do individually and as a leader in our society to ensure that everyone – particularly the most vulnerable – enjoys the peace, the tranquillity, and the freedom that should be every Australian’s birth right.

So, I am pleased to be here.

I am pleased to be here today amidst so many of my parliamentary colleagues making the strongest possible statement that the women of Australia, that the women of the world, should be able to live their lives in peace and enjoying the respect of their menfolk.

[ends]