A Liberal MP has shared her emotional experience of supporting a loved one facing domestic violence and pledged to use her time in federal parliament to stop it.
Speaking ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Queensland MP Karen Andrews told parliament the issue was a curse on society that “has transcended time, culture and place”.
She got emotional while talking about Australia’s domestic violence statistics and said that society needs to do a lot more to eradicate it.
“It is likely that we all know many of these victims. Unfortunately I had to wait for the text messages to arrive – phone calls are much worse – wondering if someone you love is still alive, he said on Wednesday.
“For those who haven’t experienced it, you can’t know what it’s like.”
Ms Andrews, who is the opposition’s spokeswoman for child protection and family violence prevention, said she would dedicate her time in Parliament to eradicating the issue and supporting people and services on the frontline.
“When you’re out there at night and the phone rings and you’re wondering what you’re going to hear, it’s a very traumatic experience,” she said.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said more than one billion women globally had experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly at the hands of an intimate partner.
“As an international community this is an opportunity to reflect on this violence, stand in solidarity with victim-survivors, and commit to a world in which all women and girls are safe,” she said.
Every 10 days in Australia, a woman dies at the hands of a former or current partner.
“This should not be allowed to happen,” Ms Andrews said.
“Ensuring that domestic violence does not span generations should be a national priority.”