Australia’s Albanese joins protests against domestic violence ‘epidemic’

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has joined demonstrations protesting against domestic violence after a spate of murders.

At least 26 women have been killed this year, or one every four days, according to rights lobby group Destroy The Joint. That is on track to top last year’s 64 deaths, often perpetuated by their current or former partners.

“Violence against women is an epidemic,” Albanese said in a post on X. “Governments need to do better and as a society we need to do better,” he said.

Albanese joined a march in the national capital, Canberra, following thousands of people who have already rallied since Friday in cities such as Sydney and Adelaide.

Demonstrators carried banners saying “no excuse for abuse” and asked the government to step in and prevent the violence that has claimed dozens of lives already this year.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has joined thousands of people wanting an end to violence against women. Photo: EPA-EFE

Protests were also planned for Sunday in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

While calls have been increasing for Albanese’s centre-left government to hold a Royal Commission into domestic violence, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has ruled out such a move.

He said on Saturday that the government had a plan to address the issue, and the Australian Law Reform Commission was looking at the judicial system’s response to sexual violence.

The issue of violence against women has come to the fore in Australia after a spate of high-profile murder cases and a recent knife attack on a Sydney mall that left five women dead.

On Thursday police arrested former Home and Away actor Orpheus Pledger, after he allegedly failed to appear in court to face charges of assaulting a woman.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

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