Posted on 21. Jul, 2010 in Victoria

Minister for Women’s Affairs Maxine Morand today joined more than 100 community leaders to develop local initiatives to stop violence against women in the east.

Attending the White Ribbon Leaders Forum for the Eastern Region, Ms Morand said this was the first time the seven eastern region councils had combined to tackle violence against women.

“This event is a great opportunity to share ideas and discuss ways to prevent violence against women in the lead up to White Ribbon Day on November 25,” she said.

Ms Morand said violence from an intimate partner was the main contributor of death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15 to 44 – higher than smoking, obesity and heart disease.

“Victoria leads the nation in its response to family violence and the Brumby Labor Government is deeply committed to stopping family violence,” she said.

“It is great to see such a strong response in this region to tackling this issue.”

Ms Morand said projects like the VicHealth-funded Knox Community Heath Service’s Knox Accord were already making a significant contribution to building safer communities for women.

“Launched in 2007, the Knox Accord is a community document that affirms respect for all women and their right to be free in all aspects of their life,” she said.

“To date, 2885 members of the Knox community have signed the Knox Accord, to take a strong stand to prevent violence against women.”

The lunch was organised as part of VicHealth/Darebin City Council’s Statewide Local Government Networking and Capacity Building Project to Prevent Violence against Women.

Ms Morand said $14.1 million had been provided by the Brumby Labor Government in this year’s Budget to prevent violence against women.

“This investment will support programs to change attitudes and behaviours towards violence and to build respectful and non discriminatory relationships in areas such as sporting clubs, local government and health and community services,” she said.

“Violence against women is totally unacceptable and we must continue to work across all areas of the community to stop violence.”

Ms Morand encouraged the wider community to make plans to celebrate White Ribbon Day on 25 November.

White Ribbon Day is the world’s largest campaign that centres on men taking responsibility to speak out against violence against women.

The Brumby Labor Government has invested more than $175 million since 2005 on reforms to the family violence and sexual assault systems to deliver more effective responses to violence against women and in prevention.

More information at: http://www.women.vic.gov.au/web12/owpmain.nsf/headingpagesdisplay/news+and+eventswhite+ribbon+day

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