Women's Ambassador Natasha Stott Despoja says there is a real momentum in the community t

Women's Ambassador Natasha Stott Despoja says there is a real momentum in the community to end violence against women and children. Source: News Corp Australia


By WENDY TUOHY - Herald Sun - September 5, 2014


The new organisation, to be launched today, is headed by Natasha Stott Despoja and will offer national leadership in the fight to reduce what Ms Stott Despoja has labelled the “national emergency” of violence against women.


“One woman is killed almost every week by a current or former partner in Australia. That is an extraordinary and chilling statistic,” said Ms Stott Despoja, the National Ambassador for Women and Girls and chair of the group’s precursor, the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and Their Children.


“There is a real momentum in the community.


“Australians are sick and tired of the violence against women and children, and we are calling on all Australians to speak out and take action to prevent it.”


A community education campaign and evidence-based prevention programs are among strategies to help stop family violence.


Forty per cent of Australian women over the age of 15 have experienced violence.


Sir Peter Cosgrove will be chief patron of the group, Dame Quentin Bryce is patron and ambassadors include Army chief Lieutenant-General David Morrison, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, comedian Charlie Pickering, actor-director Damian Walshe-Howling and journalist and disability advocate Stella Young.


Victoria Police chief Ken Lay is a supporter of the group.


Ms Stott Despoja said it was vital men and women worked together to tackle the issue.


“We can only solve this issue when men and women from different backgrounds work together,” she said.


“Violence against women is a part of all communities in Australia. Some groups are more vulnerable and they include women with disabilities, indigenous women and women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. They are priority groups for us,” she said.