Australian PM Calls for National Action on Domestic Violence Crisis After Protests

Prime Minister Albanese calls for urgent action to address Australia's "national crisis" of domestic violence, as mass protests demand government action to prevent further deaths.

Safak Costu
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Australian PM Calls for National Action on Domestic Violence Crisis After Protests

Australian PM Calls for National Action on Domestic Violence Crisis After Protests

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called for a concerted plan to address Australia's "national crisis" of domestic violence, following mass protests across the country over the weekend. At least 27 women have allegedly been killed by gender-based violence so far in 2024, sparking outrage and demands for urgent action.

Albanese joined a rally in Canberra on Sunday, where he faced a hostile reception from protesters demanding more government action. "The fact that a woman dies every four days on average at the hand of a partner is a national crisis," Albanese told the crowd. "Governments at all levels, including my own, need to do better to change the culture, attitudes, and the legal system."

The Prime Minister announced he will convene an emergency meeting of state and territory leaders on Wednesday to discuss preventative solutions and a coordinated response. However, he dismissed calls to declare violence against women a national emergency, instead advocating for long-term, targeted action. "This is a problem of our entire society. Men need to change their behavior," Albanese said.

Why this matters: The high number of women killed by gender-based violence in Australia this year has sparked a national reckoning and calls for systemic change. The government's response and proposed actions will have significant implications for the safety and well-being of women across the country.

The federal government is two years into a 10-year national plan on domestic violence, which has received an additional $2.3 billion in funding. However, experts say more needs to be done to address this deeply embedded cultural problem. "The community anger is not surprising," said Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek. "Misogyny online is working against government policies aimed at reducing violence against women, particularly among adolescent boys who are being exposed to violent content online."

Rallies were held in cities across Australia over the weekend, with an estimated 15,000 people demonstrating in Melbourne, 10,000 in Sydney, and thousands more in Brisbane. Protesters called for stricter laws, alternative reporting options for victims, and immediate government action. "How many more women need to die before the government takes this seriously?" asked rally organizer Sarah Williams in Canberra.

The government has made recent investments in domestic violence prevention, such as 10 days paid domestic violence leave and funding for perpetrator programs. However, advocates say the violence continues unabated and fear it is becoming normalized in Australian society. Albanese acknowledged the community's demands for faster change, stating, "The rallies were a call to action for all levels of government to do more to prevent gender-based violence. We need a concerted plan and long-term, serious approach to address this national crisis."

Key Takeaways

  • PM Albanese calls for plan to address domestic violence "national crisis"
  • 27 women killed by gender-based violence in 2024, sparking outrage
  • Albanese to convene emergency meeting with state/territory leaders on solutions
  • Experts say more needed to address deeply embedded cultural problem
  • Rallies across Australia demand stricter laws, action to prevent violence