Family violence

On Monday, 1 September, I hosted an important community forum with my colleagues the member for Prahran and the member for Bentleigh titled Pathways to Respectful Relationships. The community discussion was to raise awareness and communicate the importance of respect in the community and the prevention of family violence. More than 1 in 3 Australian women have been subjected to violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime, and approximately 1 in 4 children and young people have witnessed family violence. In Victoria alone, family violence costs around $2 billion annually and is the leading contributor to illness, disability and death in Victorian women aged 15 to 44 years. This forum was driven by the community, and I applaud the absolute commitment of the organisations involved in creating a dialogue about the important issue of respect.

I congratulate and recognise the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (Victoria) and in particular Annette Sweet for her work in assisting to organise this forum; the Salvation Army Family Violence Services and outreach program manager, Alice Coakes; Debbie Weiner, Lorraine Gold and Sheiny New of the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence; Impact for Women and its founder and president, Kathy Kaplan; the National Council of Women Victoria and Malvina Malinek and Jennie Russell; and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria led by its president, Nina Bassat, and executive director, David Marlow. All contributed tirelessly to making this a success. I also thank Glen Eira College principal Sheereen Kindler and business manager Debbie Panakos, who kindly hosted this event at their school in the evening.

Family violence is a very important issue. We must not stand silent; we must stand together. We need to look at strategies that we can do as a community. We are all involved in this. We are all partnered in this — the government, all the community, councils, police — in dealing with this — —

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