Date Presented:March 2014
Violence against Women (VAW) is a pervasive, global human rights violation. This research memo discusses the current state of VAW in Australia, and the Australian Governments proposed National Action Plan (NAP) addressing VAW across Australia’s diverse community. Noting that women’s rights are not fully protected by the Commonwealth and revealing the current appalling statistics around domestic and sexual violence against Australian women, the memo then provides insight on Indigenous women and VAW, followed by a deeper look at NAP. Finally, after a brief look at the recent study tour of Australia by the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Australia’s commitment to addressing VAW is discussed with reference to reporting for CEDAW and UPR. The memo then considers the Special Rapporteur’s study tour in light of the election of a new federal government. It then concludes that if the state shows genuine commitment to its people, and to its obligations under human rights treaties, the onus ultimately rests on it to work with civil society to make use of the human rights mechanisms and seek to honestly and with purpose examine their human rights status and develop and adopt sustainable positive change.