Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, I thank the Government for the very informative briefings we have had on this bill. I will make a short contribution because I believe much of the information has been covered by other members. I thank particularly the member for Murchison for the information she provided. The member for Windermere and I have shared at least one constituent who has come to us from the other side of the family violence spectrum. It is certainly not an easy situation when you are confronted with these cases.
An Australian website called Our Watch goes a little further into some of the facts and figures of family violence. It points out that this significant social problem is ultimately preventable. It is one of these crimes that do not have to happen. To prevent violence against women, we first need to understand it. That is a fairly important fact. While it may not happen to us, it is happening to other people, and we probably live in a bit of bubble sometimes. If it is not happening to us and it is not happening to people we know, it is only when we come across it that we realise the situation and how difficult it can be for many people. I am sure many members here have been to women's shelters and seen the situations there: the women live in fear because they have escaped to the shelter with their children; they are almost living in a commune when you see where they are. It is also not disclosed where the women's shelters are; it has to be kept secret because when husbands or partners are remorseful - as mentioned by the member for Windermere - on many occasions the women are very forgiving because they want their life back, they want their family back and they want to hope that person is not going to hurt them again. You can understand them feeling that way.
But the key facts on this site are: on average, one woman a week - as mentioned by the member for Murchison - is murdered by her current or former partner. One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15. One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence, and one in six Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner. One in four Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner. Australian women are nearly three times likelier than men to experience violence from an intimate partner. I think we need to recognise as well that violence can take many forms, including intimidation; it might not always be physical. A lot of abuse is not physical and cannot be seen. I think probably one of the hardest forms of abuse to recognise is when someone does not show obvious signs of abuse - bruising or broken bones - but it is emotional, economical or psychological abuse, and I would imagine it is just as difficult to prove as other forms.
I appreciate the fact sheet provided - that was really good, Leader - and also the briefings. The briefings are great. While I tend to listen and other people ask the questions I would have asked, it is informative and certainly helps us to form an opinion when we are dealing with something like this. I also appreciate the comments made by the member for Hobart. It is good hearing other people's contributions. Even though you are sure you are going to support the bill, it is good to get a bit more foundation when you are listening; you suddenly realise that some of the things you might not have thought are very pertinent to the bill at hand. I thank the Government for the briefings, and I certainly will be supporting the bill.