September 26, 2016: An end to violence by 2030 'impossible' at current rates

Australia has 14 years to eliminate violence against women and children if it is to achieve just one of the goals in the Sustainable Development Goals it signed up to one year ago today. Girl’s rights organisation Plan International Australia says unless significantly more is invested and efforts to address this national issue accelerate, reaching this goal is extremely unlikely. 

“Given we still have 70 years before we even out the global gender pay gap,  eliminating violence against women and their children in under 15 years is impossible,” Plan’s Senior Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations Advisor Pasanna Mutha-Merennege said.

“Ending violence against women and children, particularly for girls and teens who are too often the silent and uncounted victims of intimate partner violence, is one of our generation’s most important challenges. We must do more to meet these ambitious goals we signed up to.

“In Australia, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner. At least one in four has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. We know violence against teenage girls is a hidden epidemic that we’re only just beginning to uncover.”

In New York on September 25, 2015, Australia joined 193 countries by committing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 5 calls for action by governments and civil society to end all violence against women and girls both in the home and in the public sphere by 2030.

“At global level, the challenge to eliminate violence against women and girls is enormous and the current progress towards Goal 5 is painstakingly slow.  In 2012, it was estimated that almost half of all women who were victims of homicide around the world were killed by an intimate partner or family member.

“In Australia, we have made significant progress in the last five years. At the highest levels of government in Australia, violence against women and children has been recognised as an epidemic that must be urgently addressed.

“We have seen the establishment of Our Watch, a national body formed to prevent violence against women and children. The Victorian Government has shown exceptional leadership by establishing a royal commission into violence and a tangible, sizable action plan to prevent it.  However our overall progress is not fast enough to deal with the magnitude of the problem.

“The current level of investment is wholly inadequate. If the government is serious about meeting the challenge set by the Global Goals, national and state governments must work together to invest in effective interventions at all levels of primary prevention, early intervention and response.”

Plan International Australia’s Senior Policy Advisor Pasanna Mutha-Merennege is available for grabs, interviews, etc. Please call Jane Gardner on 0438 130 905 /

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