The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) today reflects on one of, if not the, worst characteristics of our society today, and that is violence committed against women and children.

In particular violence committed within the home, a place that should be one of safety and security rather than fear and suffering.

The statistics are damning:

  • 1 in 3 women have experienced sexual or physical violence by someone known to them
  • 1 in 4 children are exposed to domestic violence
  • 1 woman is killed every week by a current or former partner

This situation is unacceptable and AFIC calls on all governments to make the prevention of family violence and the support of victims of family violence the top social policy priority.

AFIC President, Dr Rateb Jneid said, “The violence inflicted on women and children in our society is completely unacceptable and is at a level that brings shame on all governments and citizens of this country. We need to take action now, at all levels of society, to bring this to an end.”

The Holy Quran states “And among His Signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect” [Quran 30:21]

AFIC commends the Government on the National Plan for family violence but is of the view that funding of $120M over 4 years is neither reflective of the importance of this issue nor sufficient for the step change required at a national level.

Dr Jneid stated, “As a society we expect much more from our governments at both a State and National Level. Funding seems to be easily found for other perceived social ills that have far less of an impact on people than this epidemic of violence against women and children. We urge all governments to engage directly with service providers on the ground and understand what the real need is and provide sufficient funds to meet this need.”

AFIC encourages all Australians of good will to put pressure on our representatives to treat this issue with the importance it deserves. Every woman and child who is a victim of violence is the responsibility of all of us. We owe it to all of them to provide a society and culture that upholds their dignity as individuals with a right to live in their homes without fear.

Family violence is unacceptable in any form and AFIC urges all sections of our society to speak up and take action to prevent this suffering from continuing.

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