Statement on Family and Domestic Violence – Federation Chamber
There are some things our society simply should not tolerate – and domestic violence is top of the list. It must stop.
In my former career as a police officer, I saw the devastating toll family violence takes on victims, including children, loved ones, friends, colleagues and communities.
Family violence does not discriminate. It is present in every part of our society. Rich people, poor, city or country, any culture or background, all variations of relationships, women, men, children – can all be affected, and we need to take a stand against it.
Any form of abuse, by men or women, whether it is physical, emotional, social or financial is unacceptable.
Research from the 2012 ABS Personal Safety Survey and Australian Institute of Criminology, shows both men and women can experience domestic violence. Yet the study also found that one woman every week was killed by their current or former partner.
Their research shows that one in six women, from age 15, experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner; and one in 19 men, from age 15, experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner.
The same research showed one in four women from age 15, experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner; and one in seven men from age 15, experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
In May 2015, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported on family violence incidents between 2002 and 2012, showing 60% of victims of all domestic homicides were female; and that males were the offender in 77% of intimate partner homicides.
Another 2010-2012 AIC study found that there were 26 male and 83 female victims of intimate partner homicides.
This problem has been kept behind closed doors for too long, and it’s time we said, no more.
The Coalition Government is leading the charge against domestic and family violence, investing $200 million to end this serious social problem. This includes $21 million to help Indigenous women and communities.
Additionally, we are delivering a $100 million Action Plan to keep people safe in their homes. This funding includes $30 million for frontline legal assistance to fight family violence, with $16.5 million supporting community legal centres.
The Government is working to stop domestic abuse but we must all play a part in creating a society where all women, children and men, live in safety.
As a man, I say only cowards who are weak of character commit family domestic violence. But it is up to all of us to wipe out the scourge of this violence altogether.