House debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Statements by Members

Domestic and Family Violence

1:48 pm

Photo of Sharon ClaydonSharon Claydon (Newcastle, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Over 16 days of global activism, more than 6,000 organisations in 187 countries are leading the call for the elimination of all forms of gender based violence. Here in Australia, it's to our great national shame that, more than two decades after the United Nations adopted the declaration of the elimination of violence against women, one Australian woman is still being brutally murdered by a current or former partner each and every week. It is clear that there can be no higher priority for this parliament than to ensure that all women and children are safe in their homes, at school, at work, in their communities and wherever they might travel through the world.

Regrettably, there has been an unconscionable gap between the Morrison government's rhetoric and its behaviour in this critical area. The government has starved our community legal services of funding and failed to invest in critical frontline domestic services in the last budget, despite the tragic spike in domestic violence cases from COVID-19. Currently, women are entitled to just five days unpaid domestic violence leave, and that is not good enough. Paid domestic violence leave is important because financial security is crucial to enabling women to flee a violent partner. It's time this government backed in calls for 10 days paid domestic violence leave to be embedded in the National Employment Standards. The full resources of government must be brought to bear to enable women and children to find safety and exit violence. (Time expired)