Australia Prepares To Unite For White Ribbon Day

24/11/2015 1:37 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 17: (AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND OUT) Rosie Batty attends an exhibition at the National Museum of Australian in Canberra that pays tribute to the 8 finalists in the 2015 Australian of the Year Awards, December 17, 2014. Batty was nominated for the award for her advocacy of domestic violence awareness and law reform after her ex-husband murdered their 11-year-old son, Luke, at the end of a cricket training session in Melbourne (Photo by Jay Cronan/Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

Celebrities, politicians, sportspeople and thousands of ordinary Aussies are gearing up for White Ribbon Day as the nation prepares to say an emphatic no to violence against women.

The national day of action against domestic violence takes place on Wednesday, with events scheduled across the country to raise awareness about the issue Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described as a national disgrace.

Wednesday's events are part of a 16-day call to action that culminates on November 25 -- the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Australian of the Year for 2015 and family violence activist, Rosie Batty, has been front and centre of the campaign against a national backdrop that has seen the lives of more than 60 women lost to domestic violence this year alone.

Speaking on Tuesday, Turnbull said violence against women started with disrespect.

"All violence against women begins with disrespecting women ... the single most important thing each and every one of us can do as parents, especially as fathers and as mothers, is to make sure that our sons respect their mothers and their sisters," he told a Stand Up to Violence event in Canberra.

"It is so encouraging today to see the ... programs that are operating in our schools to promote respect for each other and respect for women.

He was confident Australia could "build up a set of attitudes, a culture that does not accept, that rejects this disrespect of women".

The PM's full remarks can be read here.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten also condemned violence against women, describing it as "all about power".

"It is caused fundamentally by an imbalance in our society, an imbalance in power," Shorten said.

"So long as women are denied equality then we will still have family violence."

Australians from all walks of life have taken to social media on the eve of this year's event.

Batty, who lost her son Luke to family violence, has previously said much more needs to be done to combat domestic and family violence in Australia.

"We need improved responses and funding because we haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg yet," she told the launch of White Ribbon Week 2015.

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