PM challenges Australia to ‘wipe out’ domestic violence


Five women have been killed in Australia in the past two weeks, including Sydney woman Lilie James.
Five women have been killed in Australia in the past two weeks, including Sydney woman Lilie James.

Domestic violence is a scourge on Australian society and people, particularly men, need to stand up and take responsibility, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says.

Speaking before his departure to China, Mr Albanese noted that in the past fortnight multiple women had been murdered by people they knew.

“Domestic violence is a scourge, it is a scourge everywhere (and) tragically, it is occurring in a range of every state and territory,” he said on Saturday.

“This is a responsibility of governments, but it is also a responsibility of all of us, particularly men, to speak out on these issues.” 

Mr Albanese cited figures showing that on average one woman a week is being killed at the hands of someone they know.

“It goes across income groups, goes across ethnicities, race, everywhere,” he said.

“It is too prevalent in our society and it should be wiped out. 

“We need a whole of society mobilisation on these issues.”

About 50 women have been killed in Australia this year, five of them in the past two weeks.

The deaths spanned the nation with women found dead in Perth, Bendigo, Canberra, Sydney, the Hunter region and Aldinga Beach in South Australia.

The fatalities included 21-year-old high school water polo coach Lilie James, who died in October from horrific head injuries after being chased into a bathroom at a Sydney private school.

Paul Thijssen, a 24-year-old sports coach at the same school, had reportedly been in a relationship with her in the weeks leading up to her death. His body was later found off the city’s east coast.

Advocates and politicians have been calling for urgent action amid an “epidemic” of violence against women. 

The federal government on Friday announced extra funding to support services for young men to tackle the root causes of domestic violence.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in six women, since the age of 15, have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or previous co-habiting partner.

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