Violence against women is one of the great shames of our nation.
One in five women in Australia experiences sexual violence, one in four experiences emotional abuse and one in three experiences physical violence.
We need to break this cycle, and that starts with understanding where the problem begins.
The Government has today released confronting research highlighting the need for all Australians to challenge the negative attitudes that can lead to violence against women.
The research by Taylor Nelson Sofres shows that although the vast majority of Australians abhor domestic violence, too often we still blame women, we excuse men, and we minimise the severity of violence.
According to the research, many of us learn from an early age to condone or excuse disrespectful or aggressive behaviour towards women.
From an early age, boys and girls begin to believe there are reasons which make violent behaviour acceptable.
Girls question whether the behaviour is their fault, and boys tell each other it was a bit of joke.
The research shows a dangerous and engrained attitude in Australian society.
Every parent, teacher, employer, community leader must take responsibility.
The Government will use the research to inform the development of a $30 million national campaign, due to begin early next year, to reduce violence against women and their children.
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, so it is a fitting time for all Australians to begin challenging the attitudes fuelling violence.
Australia should be a nation known for its respect for women, and all of us have to play a part to make this a reality.
The research findings are available at https://www.dss.gov.au/women/publications-articles/reducing-violence-against-women-and-their-children. If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au