Family violence - Cage Fighting (26.11.2015)

Written on the 9 December 2015

26 November 2015


COUNCIL 

Members statements 

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)

 

It is somewhat curious that just three days before the first Ultimate Fighting Championship fight was held in Melbourne the Andrews government announced the inaugural Victoria Against Violence education and prevention awareness campaign. Whether you support cage fighting or not, it certainly glamorises violence and sends a terrible message that the brutality of cage fighting is okay. The government's campaign focuses on education and the prevention of violence, so it beggars belief that the government was endorsing this fight only days before the antiviolence campaign started.

Today the government has suspended business in the Legislative Assembly to devote the day to family violence. Members of this chamber have been invited to the Assembly for only 15 minutes. The original motion that was moved by the government indicated that MPs would hear from one speaker: Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty. If the Parliament is to devote an entire day to family violence, why would it not hear from more than just one person? I am pleased the government has accepted the suggestion made by the coalition to make the most of the day and has amended the motion to include a range of speakers who have experience in or have experienced family violence. This better reflects the various forms and impacts that family violence has had throughout our community.

Family violence includes physical, psychological, sexual and financial abuse and can have long-lasting impacts. It occurs across all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Whilst an overwhelming number of the statistics point to such violence being against women, it also includes violence against men and, importantly, far too many children. Gender inequality needs to be addressed, including sexist attitudes, but so do other factors that may contribute to violence, such as drug and alcohol addiction, cultural beliefs, mental health issues and financial pressures. Family violence is as diverse and complex as it is terrible. This is an important issue, which has bipartisan support. We must continue to build on past efforts and work together to combat violence, which is not reflected in a government that is focused on promoting a sport that encourages violence.


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