Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — Recently I had the privilege and honour of attending a family violence prevention forum at the Carrum Bowling Club alongside my parliamentary colleague the member for Carrum. It was a powerful night. It was a night of learning and an opportunity for people from support groups and refuge centres as well as survivors of family violence to come together to share their stories and their experiences and discuss the challenges of our system. We had the great honour of having the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence down at the bowls club to hear directly from people who have been affected by these tragedies and to put forward the government’s agenda and strong commitment to backing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence following its important work.
We know that people who have the courage to step out and try to get assistance and support face a significant bureaucratic maze. The royal commission’s work is vital in empowering those people and dealing with those systemic challenges. We know that family violence is the biggest cause of death, injury and disability for women under the age of 45. It is an absolute tragedy, and we need to put the onus on people who are the perpetrators so they take responsibility for their actions. We also need to empower people who are survivors of family violence and who are courageous enough to care for their children and to try to find a better life. Our legislation needs to do that.