Australian Albanian declares ‘national crisis’ after woman’s murder | Women’s News

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has labeled domestic violence a “national crisis” amid protests over rising numbers of women being murdered by intimate partners, calling for new funding to support victims and the threat of misogyny. crackdown on online content.

The measures, announced on Wednesday, come as tens of thousands of Australians rallied across the country, including in the cities of Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, demanding the government declare the issue a national emergency. It was announced in response.

The protests have been sparked by a wave of violence, with campaign groups saying one woman has been killed every four days this year as a result of domestic violence.

In April, it followed a stabbing in Sydney in which a knife-wielding assailant killed six people at a busy shopping mall.

Five of the victims were women, and police said it was “clear” the gunman was targeting women.

Here’s what you need to know about this issue:

How dangerous is Australia for women?

Activists called for a weekend rally after a week in which three women were murdered, allegedly by male acquaintances. Among them was her mother, Molly Ticehurst, 28, who authorities say was murdered by her ex-boyfriend weeks after being granted bail after being detained on suspicion of rape and stalking. has announced.

In total, around 28 women have been murdered by their current or former partners or family members this year, according to campaign group Destroy the Joint.

The number is almost double the number of deaths during the same period last year, public broadcaster ABC said.

Samantha Bricknell, research manager at the Australian Institute of Criminology, told the ABC that recent data suggests an increase in violence against women, with the proportion of women murdered by an intimate partner increasing from June 2022 to 2023. He said the number had increased by 31% through June. There were more murders during this period compared to the same period last year, when 26 women were murdered.

This increase bucked Australia’s long-term downward trend.

“What we’re really interested in seeing going forward is whether this is a sustained increase. That’s what Australia needs to be concerned about,” Mr Bricknell told the ABC. “More recent data suggests it’s on the rise, but hopefully that slight increase will reverse and the decline will continue.”

Government statistics show one in four Australian women has experienced violence from an intimate partner or family member since the age of 15. Although concerning, this figure is lower than countries such as France, the UK and the US. . In the latter, more than one in three women report experiencing physical and sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

What did Albanese say?

Ms Albanese, who joined protesters in Canberra on Sunday, said she took the rally as a call to action.

“We need to change the culture. We need to change attitudes. We need to change the legal system,” he told the crowd. “The approach by all governments needs to change because supporting victims is not enough. We need to focus on perpetrators and focus on prevention.”

Albanese also responded to calls to declare the issue a national emergency, saying such a statute is a short-term legal measure intended for use in natural disasters. But he described domestic violence as a “national crisis” and scheduled an emergency Cabinet meeting for Wednesday to discuss the issue. He said violence against women would be the only topic of discussion at the meeting.

What measures is the government promising?

After the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Albanese announced the government would invest A$925 million ($599 million) over five years to provide financial support to women and children fleeing violence. did.

Those eligible for the Violent Neglect program will receive financial support of up to A$5,000 ($3,300), along with referral services, risk assessments and safety plans, the government statement added.

The National Cabinet also announced new measures to address factors that exacerbate violence against women, “such as violent online pornography and misogynistic content targeting children and young people.” These measures include legislation to ban deepfake pornography and additional funding to pilot age-verification technology, it said in a statement.

The Cabinet also pledged to consider options to improve the police response to high-risk serial offenders.

He added that ministers will meet again in three months to discuss progress.

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