House debates

Monday, 18 June 2018

Statements by Members

Prevention of Violence Against Women

1:45 pm

Photo of Terri ButlerTerri Butler (Griffith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Preventing Family Violence) Share this | Hansard source

We've lost more women to sexual violence and family violence. I admire those who are using their grief and fury to call for change and those who've made personal disclosures, but we shouldn't have to package up private trauma and serve it up for public consumption in order to get change.

The Prime Minister is fond of saying that violence against women starts with disrespect, but where does the disrespect come from? Violence against women and their children is structural. We need genuine change. We don't need to be told not to walk through a park alone. Every day, all women think about how to protect themselves. It's natural; it's the noise in the back of your head, something that you do almost automatically. 'Where are my keys? Should I hold them in my fingers? Should I look like I'm on the phone so that people behind me think that I'm talking to someone? If someone's walking behind me, do I walk a little faster but not so fast that they know that they have me worried?' These things are things that every woman in here knows—every single woman in this chamber and every single woman outside it. We know what we do to protect ourselves. No more women should have to die—no more women, Aboriginal women, no more women with disabilities. This must end.


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