House debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Statements by Members

Domestic and Family Violence

1:54 pm

Photo of Julie CollinsJulie Collins (Franklin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm really proud to be part of a Labor team that will introduce a private member's bill into this place to provide for 10 days paid family violence leave. At the moment, five days unpaid leave is in the national employment standards, but we need paid family violence leave for those who are impacted by family and domestic violence. Indeed, 2020 has been a difficult year, but particularly difficult for those that have had to spend more time at home with their abuser. Some of the advocates and some of the service providers say: '2020 will be remembered as the worst year for domestic violence that any of us, who are in the sector now, have ever experienced.'

In July, a survey by the Australian Institute of Criminology revealed almost 10 per cent of women—that is, one in 10 women—who are currently in a relationship experienced domestic violence this year during the COVID crisis. One in 10 women at home with their abusers experienced violence. It cannot go on. We also know that women are most at risk of very serious violence, including death, when they make the decision to leave to protect the children in particular and themselves. Sadly, at least 50 women have died this year to date in fleeing family and domestic violence. Paid domestic violence leave will contribute to cultural and attitudinal change that will make a difference. (Time expired)