All over the world women and girls suffer at the hands of the state, the community and the family. It's a scandal that violence against women is allowed, excused and overlooked.

Amnesty International is bringing together men and women in a campaign to stop violence against women in Australia and around the world.

See our list of support services around Australia for women experiencing violence.

Duty to protect

Amnesty International is calling on the international community, governments, local communities, and every single person in the world to end help end violence against women.

Governments have an obligation to eliminate violence against women. Our campaign holds them to account for their failure to protect women and urges them to live up to their duty to stop this violence.

In Australia, domestic violence puts more women aged 15 to 44 at risk of ill-health and premature death than any other risk factor; and more than one third of women experience physical or sexual violence in their lives.

Many worthwhile initiatives are addressing the problem, but more needs to be done.

Women across the country can't count on receiving the same level of protection against violence, or the same resources to deal with abuse. There is currently no national strategy to coordinate efforts or expertise among Australia's states and territories, different government agencies, and with the non-government sector.

A national solution

Violence against women is a national problem and it needs a national solution.

In 2005 Amnesty International began a campaign for a National Plan of Action to eliminate violence against women. Almost 200 organisations nationally endorsed our call and 30,000 people signed our petition.

A draft National Plan of Action to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children was before the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2008.

In February 2011, we heard the news we'd been waiting for: a national plan was agreed to by federal, state and territory governments.

The plan covers:

  • Prevention of violence Including ongoing education and public awareness raising
  • Provision of services Available, comprehensive services that cover the physical, mental and social wellbeing of victim / survivors as well as protection from further violence
  • Prosecution of offenders The plan should establish nationally consistent legal and police responses which treat violence against women as a human rights violation.

Read about how you helped make it happen.

While we welcome this landmark plan, it is vital that the federal, state and territoty governments ensure that it meets best practice by adequately funding it.