The Minister for Immigration this morning denied US RnB star Chris Brown a visa to enter Australia.
Brown can either challenge the notice or withdraw his application to visit Australia, currently scheduled for December.
Minister for Women Michaelia Cash hinted last week his visa would be looked at “very, very closely” (doing more for the female population in her first week than Tony Abbott did in his two years).
Brown – best known for brutally bashing his then-girlfriend superstar Rihanna in 2009 – had a tour Down Under planned for December.
But the Federal Government has just foiled his plans. And we couldn’t be happier.
Reports indicate that Australian officials issued the R&B singer with a notice of their intention to refuse his visa application on Friday night
Their decision was based on the relevant provisions in the Australian Migration Act which state that anyone with a “substantial criminal record” involving a prison sentence of 12 months or more – including a suspended sentence – can be refused a visa.
New Zealand officials previously denied the 26-year-old a visa on character grounds after he was convicted of the assault that left Rihanna with injuries that required hospital treatment.
In following suit, Australia sends a strong message that we will not tolerate family violence — after a shocking week that has seen three fatal incidents in three days in NSW alone.
It’s a message everyone needs to hear. And, happily, the sentiment was already being shared by locals prior to the government’s intervention.
Brown’s tour posters were defaced in Melbourne this week with stickers bearing the words “I beat women” — a badge of dishonour with ramifications clearly difficult to undo once earned.
A petition by advocacy group GetUp! to deny entry to the Grammy-award winning musician also gathered more than 10,000 signatures.
“Chris Brown in as extremely influential figure, particularly among young people,” the petition states.
“Allowing his entry into Australia sends the message that the Turnbull government does not place significant weight and condemnation on men’s violence against women.”
Ms Cash indicated last week Brown’s visa could be rejected by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, News Limited reported.
“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’,” Ms Cash said.
“This is a government that is not afraid to say no. We are not afraid to say no to those wanting Visas who commit domestic violence.”
Ms Cash was Assistant Minister for Immigration when boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr, who has a shocking history of violence against women, was denied a visa on character grounds.
The visa of rapper Tyler the Creator – whose lyrics contain graphic depictions of violence against women – also had his visa cancelled before his Australian tour last month.
And now, after news of Brown’s visa denial, we feel super proud.
We hope the strong stance taken by the government and our new Minister for Women on issues that, you know, affect women, continues.
Because young Aussies need to be reminded at every opportunity that violence against women is never okay.
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.