Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Domestic and Family Violence
Last week I had the honour and the privilege of speaking at a women's empowerment workshop on family violence in my electorate of Chisholm. For me, it was truly an honour to be asked to deliver an address, but what was more humbling was listening to the strong men and women delivering their stories and experiences.
Family violence and the devastating ripple effect it has on our communities has always struck a chord with me. As an Australian woman who has worked with permanent residents from a diverse array of backgrounds for many years, I have witnessed the impact of domestic violence on women and children. These experiences and stories motivated me to go on and become the founder and president of the SHERO Association. SHERO stands for she is a hero. It is an organisation for victims of domestic violence. I fought for the right for women to feel safe, and I continue to champion those beliefs. This is why I cannot express my adoration more for the 2021-22 budget and the clear consideration it has for women in more vulnerable positions.
This budget reaffirms why I chose the Liberal Party as the best fit for me. We are the party who believe that we are all aspirational Australians but that some of us just need a hand up. As someone who has seen the horrifying results of a woman's fundamental right to feel safe being violated, I cannot emphasise enough how important the Morrison government's commitment to women's safety in this budget is. This budget has assured Australians that ending violence against women is a national priority. All women from all different backgrounds have the right to be safe at home, at work and in our community. This isn't some meaningless gesture or words with no action; this is a Morrison government commitment of $1.1 billion for women's safety measures, meticulously designed to compliment and build on the government's previous commitments. This is a comprehensive funding plan which includes measures that focus on preventing violence before it starts, delivering frontline and response services, providing financial support for women leaving a violent relationship, understanding the issues through data collection and monitoring, and expanding responses through the justice system. On top of that, our government has committed increased support to marginalised communities of women and children, including those with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. This draws from a commitment to support all women from all backgrounds.
I've spent years supporting women during and after horrific times of domestic abuse and violence. I've seen the bruises, the cuts and the tears that come with it. This is a matter that should not be taken lightly by any Australian. As someone with experience in this area listening to the stories of brave women who have made it through, I can comprehensively say that this budget means something. This budget will change the landscape forever. Make no mistakes: this isn't a battle that will be won in a night. This will take a long time and will require support from all of society. But we owe it our mothers, our daughters, our friends and our family. We can do better, and we will do better.
House adjourned at 20 : 00