90 Second Statement - Family Violence Must Stop

Like most members in this place, I meet regularly with community and police representatives in my electorate. Recently, I was horrified but not surprised to learn from the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command that, within the Illawarra district, there are 17 cases a day of domestic violence reported to the police.

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On a weekly basis, there are 119 cases of domestic violence reported. The unreported cases would eclipse these figures. We were informed recently by the Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, that nationally two women die each week—well over 100 each year—due to domestic violence. It is a private catastrophe but it is also a national shame; it is a national public shame.

So I take this opportunity to join with the Leader of the Opposition in calling for a national summit on family violence. I congratulate him on his announcement this week that, in government, Labor would invest $15 million in grants to assist women and their families stay at home and secure their home after an incidence of family violence. In addition to that, Labor would provide in excess of $42 million for front-line community services, including legal services, to ensure, in the words of the Leader of the Opposition, that if you have to go to court to should never walk through the system alone. I would be very happy if these announcements were adopted by the government in the forthcoming budget.

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