domestic violence protest

The Australian state of Victoria took an unusual step and appointed a Parliamentary Secretary for Men's Behavior Change to address the nation's growing domestic violence issue.

The appointment of state MP Tim Richardson as the first parliamentary secretary for men's behavior reform by Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan is a major step forward in the fight against domestic violence, CNN reported.

Richardson's appointment coincides with an increase in gender-based violence occurring nationwide; the Counting Dead Women project reported that 31 women have been killed so far this year. Sixty four women were murdered in the previous year, underscoring the critical need for action to make communities safer for women and children.

"We must make Victoria a safer place for women and children and work to end the tragedy of deaths of Victorian women at the hands of men," Richardson wrote on X.

Richardson's main focus will be on how social media and the internet affect men's perceptions of women and how to build respectful relationships.

"We need to make sure that no one loses their life to violence against women. The significance of this role is not lost on me... It starts with us men and boys," he told SBS.

Richardson's appointment was welcomed by Phillip Ripper, CEO of the men's behavior modification organization No to Violence, since it showed that men were taking ownership of the problem of gender-based violence.

Ripper contended that this was essentially a male problem, and that men have too long deferred to women to solve it. He highlighted that men must take the initiative and lead the drive for change, using Richardson as an illustration of how men may assume responsibility.