Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young calls for SA royal commision into family, domestic violence
Calls are growing for action after four women were allegedly murdered in domestic violence events in one state over the course of just seven days.
In Adelaide, hundreds gathered at a rally outside Parliament House on November 24 demanding a state-based probe into domestic violence. It follows the murder of 55-year-old mother Jodie Jewell at the hands of her estranged husband in Adelaide’s north east on November 21.
Her husband, Kevin Jewell, was found dead two days later, police have said.
Separately, a man was charged with murder over the death of a woman at Felixstow on November 15. Police allege the 50-year-old was known to her.
The death of another woman in Davenport on November 16 led to a man being charged by police with murder. Police allege the pair were known to one another.
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The death of a 39-year-old woman in Encounter Bay on November 19 resulted in a man police say was known to her being arrested and charged with her alleged murder.
On Sunday, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young became the latest to add her voice to calls demanding a royal commission into domestic violence in the state.
Speaking after the series of tragic deaths, Ms Hanson-Young called on the state’s government to establish a royal commission into the matter.
“We need one,” Ms Hanson-Young told ABC’s Insiders, adding the alleged murders of “four women in a week was a pretty hard statistic to bear.”
“I was shocked by it. South Australia and the South Australian community really were outraged. They were frustrated, there’s been an outpouring of concern and anger.”
Ms Hanson-Young said governments had been beset by the scourge of domestic and family violence, calling for the issue to be taken “seriously”.
“We are in the midst of a domestic violence epidemic, and in any other epidemic you put all of the forces in the bucket, the shoulder to the wheel, and you’d do something,” Ms Hanson-Young said.
“It feels like when it’s violence against women, when it’s sexual assault, when it’s domestic violence, it’s kind of put in a too hard basket.
“Well, we’ve had enough, South Australians have had enough, Australian women have had enough and it’s time that governments took this seriously.”
In South Australia’s state parliament on Wednesday, crossbench and opposition members backed a motion demanding the establishment of an urgent inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence.
While the state’s Labor government has said it is not opposed to establishing a royal commission on the matter, Attorney-General Kyam Maher said earlier this week its priority was a suite of legislation currently under development to tackle domestic violence.
It is currently consulting on coercive control laws, introducing a legislative crackdown on people who breach intervention orders, and is looking to toughen existing strangulation laws.
“It is a tragedy when anybody loses their life but it’s alarming that it’s happening so frequently across Australia,” he said.
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Originally published as Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young calls for SA royal commision into family, domestic violence
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