Today, parliamentarians from across the political divide have come together to link arms in a historic display of support for the No More campaign that aims to end domestic and family violence in Indigenous communities.
Founded by Indigenous leader Charlie King, the No More campaign also aims to foster a greater appreciation of, and respect for, women.
Nationally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised for family violence. In the Northern Territory the statistics are worse.
Violence is a scourge on our societies, and diminishes everyone it touches. It is totally unacceptable.
We know it reaches all corners of our society. In regional and remote areas, the figures worsen. It requires a national response from all levels of government, business and community.
The No More campaign has been led by elders in communities to empower Indigenous men who recognised that this was an issue for men to own, to take responsibility for and to stop.
The term ‘no more’ and ‘all men should link up’, are common themes that communities have raised to drive change.
Through linking arms, people all over the country are showing the importance of group action and group support to end the cycle of violence against women and children.
Not all disrespect of women leads to violence against them, but that is where all violence against women begins. Charlie King’s ‘no more’ campaign says no more to violence, no more to the disrespect from which it springs.
Today’s events have included the No More dance performed by Rirratjingu elders and community leaders. The performance used traditional Aboriginal dance to symbolise their stand against violence, and show their respect for women.
A Welcome to Country was performed by Mr Tyronne Bell, Ngunawal representative of Elder Council member Mrs Ruth Bell.
The Government has elevated the issue of violence as a national priority through the Council of Australian Governments under the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
Last month, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, outlined a $25 million package to fund Indigenous-specific initiatives under the Third Action Plan.
The Third Action Plan builds on existing work underway through the Women’s Safety Package which provided over $100 million for a range of activities to keep all women safe from violence, including $21 million for activities specifically targeting Indigenous families.
Further information on the No More campaign is available at: http://www.nomore.org.au/