On the eve of White Ribbon Day on November 25, Labor MP Emma Husar has taken to the floor of Federal Parliament to make an emotional address which detailed her personal history of domestic violence.
During Wednesday’s sitting 36-year-old Husar, the Member for Lindsay, said that for 29 years of her life she had been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her abusive father.
"The first 13 years of my life were marred with physical domestic violence, committed towards my mother, at the hands of my always drunk-when-abusive father," Ms Husar said.
"My dad was the son of a World War II German soldier who committed many acts of violence against his wife and against his seven children.
"My father had been raised in a house where violence was the accepted norm and at a time when society said these were private matters.
"Whilst the blows that landed on my mother during my childhood didn't land on me physically – they may as well have.
"The trauma inflicted was the same; I recall it vividly and in great detail."
WATCH: Emma Husar's entire speech below.
On nights when the abuse got so bad, Ms Husar talked of having to take refuge in Western Sydney women’s shelters with her mother and sister. Despite her mother being duped again and again by her father’s false promises to change, the minister highlighted rightly directed her criticisms toward the culture of victim blaming that keeps so many families trapped in cycles of violence.
"We know women return time and time again even when their lives are massively disrupted along with their children's and I hope that the blame that was launched at my Mum during the 90s for not leaving is no longer part of the 'solution' around domestic violence and I hope the questions of 'why doesn't she just leave' quit being asked," she said.
A tearful Ms Husar said that the last episode of domestic violence during her childhood resulted in 13 police cars being called to the family home, but even after that incident, the suffering continued.
"Sadly, the wheel of domestic violence continues to affect my life as a grown woman, with children of my own," she said.
"The last 16 years of my life have been and continue to be affected by domestic and family violence.”
The member, who assumed office in July, said that she hoped her story would encourage others to speak out and help lift the burden of shame that surrounds domestic violence in Australia.
"For many years I was embarrassed and ashamed," she said.
"I know that I shouldn't be but I am.
"I hope that today I have lent my voice, my story, and my passion for advocating change to the choir of the White Ribbon movement who call on us to stand up, speak out and act."
THE SHOCKING FATCS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN AUSTRALIA
-Data shows that on average one woman is killed by her current or former partner in Australia every week, and women continue to account for half of domestic violence victims.
-According to the Australian Institute of Criminology a 10 year study from the National Homicide Monitoring Program found that 41 per cent of all murders in Australia were classified as domestic/family homicides.
-Domestic violence is also the principle cause of homelessness for women and their children.
-According to the Council of Australian Governments Indigenous women and girls are also on average 35 times more likely than the wider population to be hospitalised due to family violence.
This is not good enough – domestic violence is Australia’s greatest shame.
If you or anyone you know in you family is at risk of domestic violence call 1800-RESPECT (1800 737 732). If there is immediate danger call the police on 000.