Experts from across Australia and overseas will meet in Adelaide over the next three days at a conference focusing on the prevention of violence against women and their children.

Our Watch and the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance have organised the Prevalent and Preventable conference to share information and identify issues, solutions and responses to preventing violence against women and their children.

The State Government is proud to be principal sponsor of the conference, which has a particular focus on prevention and long-term social change strategies to address violence against women.

Speakers include Marai Larasi, Executive Director of a UK based organisation dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls; Rashida Manjoo, Professor of Public Law in Cape Town, South Africa; Natasha Stott Despoja AM, founding Chairperson of Our Watch and Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls; and Kate Jenkins, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner.

The conference will include sessions focusing on preventing violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women in regional and remote communities; how to address the complex ways violence is perpetrated and its impact on women; and how children and young people can be champions for change.

For more information about the conference, visit www.conference.awava.org.au

Background

Data in Australia shows that one in five women in Australia have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 and that one in three Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.

AWAVA is one of five national women’s alliances that provide leadership and advocate for women in response to and prevention of violence against women and their children.
Our Watch drives nationwide change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to violence against women and their children.

The South Australian Government is a member of Our Watch, and in 2016-17 contributed $83,000.

The State Government is committed to supporting initiatives, like this conference, that deal with the complex and difficult issues surrounding violence against women and their children:

  • In December 2011, the State Government launched South Australia's women's safety strategy, A Right to Safety. This strengthens our legislation and services to protect women from violence and to respond appropriately to women who have experienced violence or abuse.
  • In October 2014 the State Government released ‘Taking a stand: responding to domestic violence’ to give priority to domestic violence prevention in government.
  • In July 2015, the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service was established to provide women with support during court proceedings and to increase their access to justice. In its first year, the service helped 450 women.
  • As the largest employer in the state, the government has also announced White Ribbon Accreditation for all South Australian Government departments, with 11 departments achieving accreditation so far.
  • The State Government continues to be a leader in preventing domestic violence with its innovative, Australian first Multi-Agency Protection Service (MAPS). MAPS brings together government and non-government agencies to enable quick and easy information sharing to help prevent domestic violence.
  • The State Government domestic violence discussion paper was recently released for public comment, to further strengthen our response to domestic violence in South Australia. Results from this paper will be available later in the year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Status of Women Zoe Bettison

Violence against women and their children and solutions for its prevention are complex. It requires a coordinated effort from government, the community and individuals.

I am proud that our government is a principal sponsor of this conference and recognises the importance of having conversations about domestic violence prevention.

This conference will bring together experts from across Australia, and overseas, to focus on these complex issues and discuss solutions.

I look forward to hearing the new and innovative ideas that arise from conversations at this conference.