Members Statement: Family Violence Forum

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke) — On 20 May I was pleased to co-host, with the member for Broadmeadows and the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, a forum on family violence. I thank the member for Broadmeadows and his electorate officers for organising the forum. It was a terrific event. Family violence has a devastating impact on communities right across the state. I was alarmed to learn that women who are disabled, pregnant or speak a language other than English are more likely to be exposed to instances of family violence. This should not be acceptable to any of us.

There is no community that is shielded from the impact of family violence, but I note the horrific statistics for the Hume City Council local government area, in which my electorate is located, with more than 6 out of every 10 instances of assault-related offences in 2014 being related to family violence. This is a community problem. David Morrison, the former Chief of Army, said, ‘The standard you walk past is the standard you accept’. We cannot walk past this problem knowing the devastating impact it has. I mention David Morrison because of the perception by many at the forum that family violence is seen as a private problem. This alarming attitude of course only serves the abuser and hurts the victim. The end result is that family violence thrives. I thank all involved for participating in the forum. I have put in my submission on behalf of the community and I hope others do the same.