THE annual, international campaign - 16 days of activism against gender-based violence - is driving conversations. Violence against women is ultimately preventable, but significant work is ongoing - and it's required.
Talk about violence against women, and you'll hear the cry: But what about the men?
All violence is wrong and, of course, men are also victims of domestic violence.
But the campaign calling for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls exists because of the serious and widespread nature of the problem in our community. It is a crisis.
Violence against women is not always physical - but it always about power and control. It can include psychological, economic, emotional and sexual violence and abuse, and a wide range of controlling, coercive and intimidating behaviours.
One woman, on average, is murdered by her current or former partner in Australia every week.
Intimate partner violence is the greatest health risk factor for women aged 25 to 44, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows. It takes a long-term toll.
Look around your friendship group, your workplace, or as you walk down the street, or through the supermarket - because every third woman you see will have experienced physical violence since the age of 15, and one-in-four will have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
Statistics show that both women and men are more likely to experience violence at the hands of men, with about 95 per cent of victims of violence reporting a male perpetrator. But while men are more likely to experience violence by other men in public places, women are more likely to experience violence from men they know - often occurring at home.
The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign ends on December 10, which is Human Rights Day. But the issue remains important always.
Working to prevent violence against women doesn't negate the experiences of male victims; but it does recognise what research and statistics say is a significant priority.
- If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, phone 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 - available 24 hours; in an emergency, phone 000.
- For counselling, advice and support for men who have anger, relationship or parenting issues, call the Men's Referral Service on 1300 766 491.