Ambassador for Women and Girls Natasha Stott-Despoja addresses the UN International Women's Day Parliamentary breakfast at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, March 3, 2015.
Ambassador for Women and Girls Natasha Stott-Despoja addresses the UN International Women's Day Parliamentary breakfast at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. AAP Image - Lukas Coch

QLD, NSW drag their feet in fight against domestic violence

QUEENSLAND, NSW, the ACT and WA are dragging the chain on joining Australia's key anti-domestic violence group.

The Tasmanian Government is the latest member of Our Watch - a Commonwealth-funded national organisation charged with raising awareness of violence against women and children.

The Victorian, South Australian, Northern Territory and Federal governments have already committed to the organisation.

Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia are yet to sign on the dotted line.

None of these governments has responded to APN Newsdesk's inquiry about their intentions to join the organisation.

Anti-domestic violence advocates say 38 women have been killed by their partners or ex-partners since the start of the year.

In NSW, about 74 domestic assaults are reported to NSW police daily and Queensland officers respond to about 180 cases every day.

There were 3289 reports of family violence in the ACT in 2013/14 and WA police handled 13,477 domestic assaults over the past 10 months.

In Tasmania, about seven cases of family violence a day or at least 2600 a year are reported to police each year.

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman has declared war on domestic violence in his state.

Mr Hodgman said joining Our Watch was an important move in that war.

Mr Hodgman told media on Monday he would co-ordinate his government's approach to domestic violence, provide more funding for support and prevention services and put together a state-wide plan to lower the problem.

Our Watch chairwoman Natasha Stott Despoja said every Australian government needed to take action to end the epidemic.

"Two women are being murdered a week in Australia, according to media reports," Ms Stott Despoja said.

"Violence against women is a national emergency.

"This issue must be a top priority for all governments.

"With Tasmania announcing their intention to join Our Watch, we are more than halfway towards an Australia-wide approach to preventing violence against women and their children.

"With collaboration across governments, business, civil society and the community, we can ensure women and children will live free from fear."

Our Watch CEO Paul Linossier said reducing gender stereotypes would help lower violence against women.

"We know what it takes to prevent violence against women and their children; we must challenge gender inequality at every level of society," Mr Linossier said.

"There are still many practices and attitudes that limit women and men to restrictive gender stereotypes.

"It is a basic human right to live free from discrimination and violence; we must make this a reality in Australia."

Domestic violence has claimed about two lives a week since the start of the year.

APN Australian Regional Media's Terror at Home campaign, published in this and 11 other regional daily newspapers, is shining a light on domestic violence.

If you or someone you know needs help, phone DV Connect on 1800 811 811, DV Line on 1800 656 463 or 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). - APN NEWSDESK.



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