As some readers may know, before becoming an MP I worked as a volunteer from for Ministry of Justice for 11 years (from 1991) as a Domestic Violence Advisor and spent five years as the manager at Tauranga Women's Refuge.
It is fair to say that a large proportion of my life has been dedicated to working towards the elimination of domestic violence in our country.
As a child I lived in a wealthy, two parent, entrepreneurial household with many education and life opportunities.
I also lived a double life experiencing psychological and physical violence, constantly walking on eggshells, altering my behaviour to try to mitigate the violence.
Over one million people are affected by violence in this country and I have been one of them. I can therefore tell you that the weekend announcement to invest $320 million into the family and sexual violence sector will be a game changer.
This is a cross-Government package, showing the wellbeing approach in action, involving eight portfolios and initiatives across five areas:
• Preventing family violence and sexual violence;
• Safe, consistent and effective responses to family violence in every community;
• Expanding essential specialist sexual violence services: moving towards fully funding services;
• Reforming the criminal justice system to better respond to victims of sexual violence;
• Strengthening system leadership and supporting new ways of working.
Our families, our children, the victims, the perpetrators (who were often child victims) will have a systematic, whole-of-government approach to the elimination of violence in our country. And I am so very grateful to be an MP with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the helm as we build a compassionate and kinder society where we put the wellbeing of people at the centre of all we do.