National Domestic Violence Remembrance Day

I support this matter of public importance on domestic violence raised by the member for Maitland. The member is the shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and I thank her for bringing this matter before the House.

Yesterday was National Domestic Violence Remembrance Day when members participated in a commemoration at the gates of Parliament House to honour all those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence homicide. We remembered those who are left behind and have been traumatised and we committed to the prevention of domestic violence. It is imperative that we stop and reflect upon the harm people experience as a result of domestic violence—violence that is perpetrated by someone they should be able to trust.

Today I reflect especially on the harm, hurt and damage inflicted upon the children who are victims and witnesses of domestic violence.

It is widely known that children who live in homes where there is domestic violence grow up with fear, anxiety, unpredictability, tension and pain. These children—and I was one of them—are forced to worry about the future every single moment of their young lives, desperately trying to predict what might happen next and desperately attempting to protect themselves, their brothers and sisters and their mum. The emotional trauma and the psychological injuries can often last a lifetime.

On behalf of all the children, I acknowledge in this place the helplessness, the grief, the dread, the anger and tragically sometimes the death of children.

As I lay my white rose yesterday with colleagues and the community outside, I was very thankful for the efforts of the Moving Forward team for organising such a symbolic activity. I thank all those who work in the domestic violence sector. It is a tough place to work, both in a climate of funding cuts and amidst horrors.

I acknowledge Destroy the Joint, who count and remember dead women.

I acknowledge the Australian Services Union and campaigns to both end domestic violence and fight for leave provisions.

It is important that we make it stop.

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