Over the past 12 months, more people in the community and more MPs are becoming aware of this issue and demanding action. Ken Wyatt, Andrew Broad and I wanted to ensure that this increasing community awareness was also hitting home with MPs in Canberra. That’s why we formed the Parliamentarians Against Family Violence group to ensure that advocates, service providers and most importantly of all, survivors, could tell their story directly to Members of Parliament.
On Monday of this week, the Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, another survivor, Jennifer Jackson and Our Watch addressed this group. Around 50 MPs from all sides of politics came to hear them speak and stayed for over an hour. You could have heard a pin drop in the room as people listened to their stories.
The CEO of Our Watch, Paul Linossier explained why gender inequality is at the heart of men’s violence against women. Jennifer gave a first-hand account of why it was often so difficult for women to escape abusive partners. Finally, Rosie Batty posed a direct challenge for everyone there. She asked us “What will we do?” to stop men’s violence against women.