Liberal MP Karen Andrews delivers emotional speech on domestic violence


A Liberal MP has shared her emotional experience supporting a loved one facing domestic violence and promised to use her time left in federal parliament to stop it.

Speaking ahead of the international day for eliminating violence against women, Queensland MP Karen Andrews told parliament the issue was a blight on society that had “transcended time, culture and location”.

She became emotional as she spoke about Australia’s domestic violence statistics and said there was much more society needed to do to eradicate it.
“It is likely we all know many of these victims. Unfortunately I have had to wait for text messages to come in — the phone calls are much worse — wondering if someone you love is still alive,” she said on Wednesday.

“For those people who haven’t experienced this, you can have no idea what it’s like.”

Ms Andrews, who is opposition spokeswoman for child protection and family violence prevention, said she would dedicate her time left in parliament to work to eradicate the issue and support people and services on the frontline.
“When you’re there at night and the phone rings and you’re wondering what you’re going to hear, it is a terribly traumatic experience,” she said.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said more than a billion women globally experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly at the hands of an intimate partner.

“As an international community this is a chance 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.

In Australia, one woman dies every 10 days at the hands of her 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.”

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