Liberal MP Sarah Henderson fought back tears in Parliament on Tuesday night, as she talked about the murder of her friend, Monique Denahy, 49, who was killed by her partner three days earlier in a murder-suicide.
“She was beautiful, vivacious and kind. She was always laughing, always positive,” said Ms Henderson. “She was murdered by her American partner in the US. It was a deliberate and calculated murder-suicide.”
Monique, a mother of two and former model and TV personality, had been living in Florida for almost 20 years. After suffering domestic violence and abuse at the hands of her partner, Daniel Millner, 55, she had been making plans to leave.
“Monique has decided to leave the relationship and return to Australia, but she never made it home.”
Statistics show that leaving an abusive partner is when a woman or her children are most likely to be seriously harmed or murdered.
“This is a crime that always happens to someone else, but Monique’s death has shown me that this is a crime that can touch every single family,” said Ms Henderson.
“Monique, you were a beautiful and gentle sole. Rest in peace.”
Ms Henderson was employing parliament to take the White Ribbon pledge against family violence on the national awareness day – today.
“We have to break this cycle of violence, which in many cases has been fuelled by drugs, alcohol, rage, revenge and perverse attitudes by young men who think it’s okay to hurt a woman.”
— smh.com.au (@smh) November 24, 2015
Both Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have today tweeted their support of White Ribbon Day:
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) November 24, 2015
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 25, 2015
It comes as federal government commissioned research found that even in 2015, women are still get blamed for aggression towards them, and men’s behaviour is still being excused as some “rite of passage” / “boys will be boys” bullshit.
Malcolm Turnbull said it paints “a disturbing picture about how Australians think about domestic violence“, and highlights how little is understood about how DV begins.
And on Wednesday, Bill Shorten will announce that a future Labor government would provide for five days of domestic violence leaver a year, to enable victims to access legal advice, counselling, and medical appointments.
According to Destroy the Joint’s Counting Dead Women, 78 women have already met violent deaths in Australia this year.