‘Hide from daddy’: Senator’s harrowing DV account
NEW Cairns based Senator Nita Green is to reveal today how violence rocked her family.
Ms Green will tell the Senate today in her inaugural speech that her mother was a strong woman and she would not be in parliament without her.
She said her father was charming, intelligent and a hard worker but was an alcoholic and suffered from depression.
"He was cruel when he was sober and he was abusive when he was drunk," Ms Green said.
"He was supposed to protect us ... but no one protected us from him.
"When I was three or four years old ... my Mum left in the middle of the night ... me walking along side my brother in a stroller and our bags on our backs.
"When I asked her why we were walking the long way around the block, she said: "So Daddy doesn't see us".
"Leaving, finally, for good, almost 10 years later was the best decision my Mum ever made.
"We were homeless for the first few nights after we left because the rental Mum paid for wasn't liveable.
"Tragically, domestic violence remains one of the biggest drivers of homelessness for Australian women.
"We finally settled in a small community of townhouses occupied by families on minimum wage jobs ... single parents and new migrants. Mum packed shelves at night to make ends meet.
"I have no doubt it was hard for Mum leave. She shouldn't have had to do it on her own, but like so many women, she did.
"For all the struggle the life of single-mother would bring every day I was so grateful to be
"It made who I am today - tough, resilient and unwilling to accept that some Australians have to settle for less just because of where they were born or who their parents are.
One in five women in Australia has experienced family violence. Sadly hospitalisation rates as result of family violence are on the rise. Family violence is a health crisis and a cultural crisis and it has to stop."