‘Not safe’: MP tears up over violence crisis

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Minister for Women Katy Gallagher gets emotional over violence against women crisis. Picture: Today

The Minister for Women has become emotional while facing questioning over the rate of women killed by violence in Australia.

The number of women killed in Australia this year climbed to 25 with the death of 28-year-old mum Molly Ticehurst, according to data from Counting Dead Women.

Her ex-partner Daniel Billings, 29, has been charged with her murder.

On Wednesday morning, ABC Breakfast host Michael Rowland confronted Minister for Women Katy Gallagher with revelations about the man accused of killing Ms Ticehurst.

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Minister for Women Katy Gallagher became emotional when asked about the alarming rate of violence against women. Picture: Today

“What do you think when you hear those facts?” he asked.

Senator Gallagher was visibly emotional as she described her devastation about “what is happening” in Australia but declined to comment on the case, which is before the courts.

“It’s been a really tough year … This is a crisis in this country and women don’t feel safe,” she said.

“I think how women feel about this in particular. And when we see, you know, it’s not safe to go out for a run, you go shopping, you take action against violent perpetrators, you do all the right things, and we still have these cases.

Molly Ticehurst was found dead inside her Forbes home. Picture: Supplied
Molly Ticehurst was found dead inside her Forbes home. Picture: Supplied

“I don’t think there’s one easy answer.”

Senator Gallagher said she would welcome a bigger conversation with men about women’s safety.

“I think it really helps when men speak up and talk to each other about all of the issues that lead to violence,” she said.

“And it’s not even violence, it’s some of the issues about how women are more broadly treated in the community that lead to some of these bigger issues.”

Ms Ticehurst’s death came less than a week after Joel Cauchi, 40, killed five women and a male security guard during a violent rampage at Westfield Bondi Junction.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said it was “obvious” to her that he was targeting women and this would form part of their investigation.

Opposition finance spokesperson Jane Hume described violence against women as a “national crisis” and said anyone who thought there wasn’t a problem “needs to wake up”.

“The fact that it’s only April and that’s the number we’re looking at should be setting off alarm bells,” she said on Sunrise.

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NSW Premier Chris Minns will call for a review of the bail laws. Picture: Sunrise

“We can and we must do better … for all women around Australia because thousands are living in fear every single day and that’s unacceptable in a country like ours.”
Sunrise host Natalie Barr asked Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neill if the issue needed to be reframed as one of “men’s violence”.

“I’m starting to see a conversation starting amongst men,” she said.

“This is not a women’s issue that we can fix by fixing women. It’s men and their behaviour that has to change here, and we need men to be stepping up, having those conversations with their friends about this matter and talk about changing society for the better.

“We can’t go on like this.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns said he would speak with the Attorney-General about reviewing the state’s bail legislation following Ms Ticehurst's death.

A court was told that Mr Billings was on bail for charges including rape, stalking and intimidation when he allegedly murdered Ms Ticehurst.