House debates

Monday, 22 February 2021

Statements by Members

Domestic and Family Violence

1:57 pm

Photo of Terri ButlerTerri Butler (Griffith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water) Share this | Hansard source

Friday was the anniversary of the horrific murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children in my electorate. Hannah's parents, Lloyd and Sue, and her family and friends have shown great strength throughout the year that followed the murders, and I pay tribute to them. One of their first acts was to establish Small Steps 4 Hannah to help others. They've also issued a clear call for reform to address coercive control. Researchers found up to 80 per cent of women who seek help for domestic abuse have experienced coercive control. Coercive control can include isolating someone from friends and family, controlling their finances, sexual coercion and other forms of control. According to a New South Wales coroner's review of intimate partner homicides, before murdering their partners, 99 per cent of perpetrators displayed coercive and controlling behaviours towards the victim. I'm grateful to the Palaszczuk government in Queensland for setting up a task force on coercive control. When Labor was in government federally, we updated the Family Law Act to include coercive control, but more needs to be done. As my colleague said on Friday, Australia needs a consistent national definition of family and domestic violence. I encourage all jurisdictions to work together to make that happen.


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