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Thursday, 25 July 2019
Page: 1033

Ms STEGGALL (Warringah) (13:44): I want to raise attention to one of the greatest health risks posed to women of all ages in Australia but, importantly, the greatest health risk for women aged 18 to 44. For these women, this disease is a leading contributor to depression, anxiety, disability and premature death. This disease kills one woman in Australia every week. Nearly 18 per cent of all depression and 17 per cent of anxiety disorders impacting women are associated with this disease. It is the leading cause of homelessness amongst women and contributes to female unemployment. Yet this disease has not mobilised the attention it requires or seen legislation passed to implement greater preventative steps. This health crisis is too often talked about as a social issue. This disease is domestic and family violence. Like any disease, we need more funding and resources for prevention and greater support for women and victims.

I would like to commend the work of the Northern Beaches Women's Shelter in my electorate of Warringah and the work of shelters all around Australia. As a former family law barrister, I can strongly attest to the need for increased funding and support for victims and for harsher penalties for perpetrators.