- Government considering whether to grant R&B star a visa
- Turnbull says he's committed to tackling domestic violence
Chris Brown, the R&B artist convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna, may be banned from touring Australia in December as new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signals a harder line on domestic violence.
Australia’s immigration authorities will be looking “very, very carefully” at whether Brown should be allowed to tour, Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said Thursday. Turnbull announced A$100 million ($70 million) in new funding to tackle domestic violence, which he labeled “a national disgrace."
“People need to understand, if you are going to commit domestic violence and then you want to travel around the world, there are going to be countries that say to you: ‘you cannot come in because you are not of the character that we expect in Australia’,” Cash told reporters in Melbourne when asked about Brown’s forthcoming tour.
Turnbull, who replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister after defeating him in a ballot of ruling party lawmakers last week, wants to reduce domestic assaults in Australia, where about one in five women have experienced violence at the hands of a partner. The package will bolster victims’ access to CCTV and panic buttons, and fund better training for front-line health and police services.
Brown was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community service for the 2009 assault, the Associated Press reported at the time. The following year, the U.K. refused his application for a visa due to the conviction.
The artist has four concerts scheduled in December in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Protesters have petitioned the government to refuse Brown a visa and tour posters in Melbourne have been targeted with stickers saying “I beat women,” the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
Tour promoter Westgate Entertainment didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
“Disrespecting women does not always result in violence against women but all violence against women begins with disrespecting women,” Turnbull, 60, said, pointing out that 63 Australian females had been killed by their partners or family members this year. “We will make it a clear national objective of ours to ensure that Australia is more respecting of women.”