NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Women Pru Goward today welcomed the release of the Second Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, a vital initiative of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments who are standing together to address this important national issue.
Mr Baird and Ms Goward attended the launch of the plan today during an event at Manly, where they joined Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women Michaelia Cash.
“I welcome the release of this report which shows the Commonwealth and the States are committed to working together to eliminate violence against women and children,” Mr Baird said.
“All forms of violence against women and their children are utterly reprehensible, which is why this united and coordinated approach is vitally important.
“We have strong commitment from all levels of Government, but we also need the community to take a stand to tackle this critical issue.
“As the plan makes clear, reducing violence against women and children is everyone’s responsibility.”
Ms Goward said following high profile cases of female genital mutilation and underage forced marriage in NSW, it is encouraging the Federal Government has agreed to include these two issues in the Plan.
“Every young woman deserves the opportunity to make her own choices about her future,” Ms Goward said.
“Girls must live without fear of forced marriage or the torture of female genital mutilation.
“A united front by all tiers of Governments sends a clear message that these practices have no place in Australia,” she said.
Ms Goward said the NSW Government looks forward to working with the Commonwealth on this latest phase of the National Plan, building and introducing practical national initiatives to address these issues head on.
“Together with the Commonwealth Government, we are well on the path to a national coordinated approach focussed on making a significant reduction in violence against women and their families,” Ms Goward said.
“NSW recently passed legislation which increases the penalties for those who practice female genital mutilation, sending a very strong message that this offence is unacceptable.
“The NSW Government is committed to providing support to young women and children who face the horrific consequences of forced underage marriage.
“Coordinated national action is essential for changing community views and ending the exploitation of women and girls.”