Leaders rally to tackle violence

The ABC's Libby Gore is hosting the forum.


Leaders in Melbourne’s west have joined forces to oppose men’s violence against women.

A forum, to be held at Caroline Springs next week, will bring together heads of business, sport, not-for-profit groups and government sectors to speak about some of the causes of violence against women and ways to combat it.

The event is being hosted by the Western Metropolitan Regional Management Forum, Victoria University and the Western Bulldogs’ Sons of the West group.

ABC broadcaster Libbi Gorr, Women’s Health West chief executive Robyn Gregory, Deakin University social work chairman Professor Bob Pease, Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Fiona McCormack, Hobsons Bay council chief executive Chris Eddy and Sons of the West program manager Nathan Bibby will speak at the event.

Mr Eddy said the leaders’ group was serious about curbing the “alarming” rate of violence against women.

“Statistics show that a woman is killed in Australia almost every week by a partner or ex-partner,” Mr Eddy said. “No one group or organisation can address this serious problem alone. That’s why we are uniting leaders in our community to share experiences and knowledge to help end this epidemic.”

The audience will have a chance to ask questions of the panel. Members will also be exploring how gender inequality plays a part in men’s violence against women.

WHW has consistently identified the need to address gender inequality in order to combat violence against women. In its latest submission to the Abuse in Disability Services parliamentary inquiry, WHW highlights the extent of violence against women with a disability.

Dr Gregory said women with disabilities experienced greater levels of discrimination in the workplace than both women without a disability and men with a disability.

“There are more women with a disability living in the west than the state average,”
she said.

“Certainly when we look at our statistics, we see a higher-than-state-average of women with disability who are experiencing violence.”

A recent survey of 367 women and girls with a disability, led by Women with Disabilities Australia, found 22 per cent had experienced violence in the past year.

The forum is at WestWaters Hotel, Caroline Springs, 12.30-4pm on Thursday, June 25.