Union activist inspired by Rosie Batty in fight against DV
UNION activist Dolly Jensen has returned from the ACTU Congress in Melbourne determined to help turn the tide on Australia's appalling domestic violence figures.
The Congress voted to support the ACTU's domestic violence leave claim, which would make it easier for victims of abuse to escape their situation.
The move came on the back of Victoria's proposed dangerous partners register and specific family violence offence to protect women and children in their homes.
Australian police deal with an estimated 657 domestic violence matters every day of the year. That's one every two minutes. Domestic violence is the single biggest killer of women in this country under the age of 45.
Mrs Jensen attended the ACTU Congress as national president of the ANZ council for the Finance Sector Union.
Rosie Batty was among the guest speakers.
"Whenever one person stands up and says 'wait a minute, this is wrong,' it helps other people do the same - Gloria Steinam (said this)," Mrs Jensen said yesterday.
"Two women per week in Australia die at the hands of their partners," she said.
"This is a horrifying statistic if you consider the number of poor souls that are still living, hopelessly stuck in a violent relationship. Their numbers are not counted - yet.
"Last week at Congress we all voted in favour of a resolution to support ACTU's domestic violence leave claim. This will help women to maintain financial independence and keep their job whilst trying to escape a violent relationship.
"I was lucky enough to have been invited to a ladies luncheon at Etihad Stadium where Australian of the Year and domestic violence campaigner, Rosie Batty, and Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Tanya Plibersek, were the guest speakers.
"Rosie explained how critical it was for this leave to be approved as she explained to us how beneficial it would have been to her in her situation when she needed to appear in court or simply needed to relocate her child.
"She also explained that we needed to break the silence. It is time to stand up and speak out against domestic violence. We should not tolerate it. We need to show that it's unacceptable.
"Here comes my goosebump moment... when our meeting reconvened, and we had voted in favour of the resolution, all of the men of all the trade unions were asked to take an oath on this issue.
"More than 500 men took to the stage and with their hands on their hearts they pledged: 'I swear, never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women. This is my oath'."