Labour MP Emma Husar brought Parliament to a standstill yesterday and left many of her colleagues in tears when she opened up about her personal experience growing up with domestic violence.
Making a speech to mark White Ribbon week, Ms Husar, the member for Lindsay, recalled the first 13 years of her life living in fear of her father.
"The first 13 years of my life were marred with physical domestic violence, committed towards my mother, at the hands of my always drunk-when-abusive father," said Ms Husar.
"My dad was the son of a World War II German soldier who committed many acts of violence against his wife and against his seven children.
"My father had been raised in a house where violence was the accepted norm and at a time when society said these were private matters.”
The Western Sydney politician went on to explain how the cycle of violence would continue and was nearly impossible to break, with her mother attempting to leave with the children, and being forced to flee refuges because her father would learn their location.
"We know women return time and time again even when their lives are massively disrupted along with their children's and I hope that the blame that was launched at my Mum during the 90s for not leaving is no longer part of the 'solution' around domestic violence and I hope the questions of 'why doesn't she just leave' quit being asked," she said.
"Sadly, the wheel of domestic violence continues to affect my life as a grown woman, with children of my own," she said.
"The last 16 years of my life have been and continue to be affected by domestic and family violence. "
"For many years I was embarrassed and ashamed," she said.
"I know that I shouldn't be but I am.
"I hope that today I have lent my voice, my story, and my passion for advocating change to the choir of the White Ribbon movement who call on us to stand up, speak out and act."
White Ribbon Day is tomorrow, November 25.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact 1800 Respect (1800 737 732)