Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:00): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the minister representing the Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence on a family, domestic and sexual violence royal commission.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: Between 15 and 21 November this year, four South Australian women were murdered at the hands of men they knew. It has been said that this is potentially the worst week for fatal domestic and family violence in our recorded history. Recent ABS data shows that one in five Australian adults have experienced violence, emotional abuse or economic abuse by a partner. That ABS research found that more than a quarter of women, compared with 15 per cent of men, are experiencing partner violence or abuse from the age of 15 onwards. It found almost a quarter, or 2.3 million women, experienced emotional abuse, compared with 14 per cent of men.

We know it is a national crisis. This year so far, on average, more than one woman a week has been killed in our nation allegedly as a result of domestic and family violence. That is why a vigil was held on Friday 24 November calling for a royal commission into domestic, family and sexual violence in our state. That call was endorsed by many at the vigil for those four murdered women. That included those in the sector, such as Embolden, the Zahra Foundation, SA Unions, OARS, Catherine House, SACOSS, the Working Women's Centre, just to name a few.

The minister at that vigil spoke of the Premier's paternity leave as a reason for an expected delay on a response to their call for a royal commission into domestic, family and sexual violence. My question to the minister is: when will the Malinauskas government respond to that call for a royal commission into domestic, family and sexual violence?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:03): I thank the honourable member for her question. I will refer it to the minister in the other place, but certainly I think, reflecting on those appalling figures, which are absolutely something that as a community, as a society, we find so unacceptable, it shows that there is still so much more work to be done. My understanding is that the minister in the other place has spoken about the need for short to medium-term actions to tackle this scourge. In terms of the other details of the question, I will refer it to her and bring back a response.