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Royal Commission into domestic, family and sexual violence in South Australia

7 March 2024

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. T.A. Franks:

That this council calls on the Malinauskas government to establish a royal commission into domestic, family and sexual violence in South Australia.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (16:56): I rise very briefly in support of this motion. In so doing I want to acknowledge the leadership of my colleague the Hon. Tammy Franks who, along with the Hon. Michelle Lensink and the Hon. Connie Bonaros, called for this royal commission last year. I also recognise the government's leadership in taking this up and making this happen and also in appointing Natasha Stott Despoja, who I think everyone in this place would agree is a fine appointment to that role and, as has been observed by other speakers, brings a wealth of experience in terms of advocacy for women and girls.

As has been observed, this is a terrible scourge for our state and this royal commission will play a really important role in finding solutions. Some statistics are important to put on the public record. According to the 'In Australia' report, one in six women and 11 per cent of all adults have experienced violence from a partner, and since the first National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children was adopted 13 years ago over 700 women have been murdered in Australia.

First Nations women, women from culturally diverse backgrounds, women in regional areas, older women, LGBTIQ+ women and women with a disability are much more likely to experience this violence. I think all members of the South Australian community were deeply saddened and shocked to see a number of deaths in the latter half of last year. This royal commission comes at an important time, and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the commission. Again, I praise my colleague for her leadership in pushing for action on this really important issue.