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Stop Domestic Violence

Please click here to read my speech about standing against domestic violence. 

Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 15:08 :46 ): I rise today to speak about domestic violence, and I would like to commend the new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, for his action in this area. One in six Australian women has experienced violence from a current or former partner, and 63 women have been killed so far this year. For Indigenous women the situation is even worse—they are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of family violence.

It was with great pride that I signed our Parliamentary Friends United Against Domestic Violence Pledge here in this place, and I must wholeheartedly agree with the member for Stuart in his comments pointing out that any domestic violence is an issue which must be led by men.

Domestic Violence is a scourge on our community and every effort must be made to eradicate it from our society, and men can and must play a major role to achieve this goal. I have spoken on this issue before around White Ribbon Day and can add what an outstanding job the White Ribbon organisation has done to bring awareness to this issue. As a father of girls and boys, I take my parenting responsibility very seriously, and education about domestic violence and teaching my children what is not acceptable is a very important part of my role as a father.

It was an exciting time to hear Prime Minister Turnbull and federal Minister for Women Michaelia Cash announce a $100 million Women's Safety Package aimed at combating domestic violence. Some key aspects of the new package are:

$17 million to expanding existing programs aimed at keeping women safe at home, including improving access to CCTV and locks;

$5 million to the 1800 RESPECT hotline;

$2 million to MensLine services;

$21 million to help Indigenous women and those in remote communities;

a $12 million trial with state governments to use GPS tracking for high-risk domestic violence offenders;

$5 million on 20,000 mobile phones across Australia for women whose access to technology is compromised;

$5 million to developing and improving the Safe Schools website;

improved training for frontline services, including general practitioners, doctors, nurses, magistrates and police; and

identifying domestic violence hotspots.

Domestic and family violence occurs when someone who has a close personal relationship with you makes you feel afraid, powerless or unsafe. It can be physical, but it can also be emotional and psychological.

Anyone can experience domestic and family violence. It happens across communities, ages, cultures and sexes—it does not discriminate. If you are experiencing abuse or violence, it is not your fault; it is the abuser who is responsible. Domestic violence is a crime and the abuser is breaking the law. Forms of abuse and violence include:

physical harm—threats to self or physical harm, smashing things or hurting pets;

emotional and psychological abuse—humiliation, put downs and blaming;

financial abuse—strict or unfair control of money;

verbal abuse—name calling or yelling;

social abuse—controlling where you go, and what and who you see;

sexual abuse and rape;

stalking—following, making excessive phone calls, texts or emails: as one constituent in my electorate pointed out, harassing phone calls and sexual phone calls also cannot be tolerated; and

spiritual or cultural abuse—controlling practices or choices.

Non-physical forms of abuse can be just as damaging as physical assaults. If you feel disrespected, unable to be yourself, afraid to disagree or negotiate for what you want, this may be a sign of abuse. If you need help and are in a dangerous situation, call 000 immediately. For more information dial 1800 RESPECT or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the brilliant work done by all the teachers at all the schools in my electorate, but I would like to single out two teachers on this occasion: Jarrod Lambshed and Aimee Aparitheo from Woodend Primary. They have run a brilliant program teaching their students to respect each other, with a focus on eradicating domestic violence. Their engagement and stimulation of their students was first class. Their focus is on making young people better adults and helping their students have successful relationships with everyone in the community. They ran a highly successful online Twitter campaign with the hashtag '#WeStandTall'. The students posted terrific messages that were personal and positive, and reflect the ideas of masculinity and respect in society today. The school was featured on Today Tonight. If you would like to see that story, visit my website, coreywingard.com.au

 

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Signed Parliamentary Friends United Against Domestic Violence Pledge. 

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