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Grace Donato

[Unknown speaks]
My daughter loved nature, she loved animals, and I do find peace walking on nature trails. She had almost completed her science degree and was majoring in zoology. She was beautiful inside and out, very caring. And. I'm Grace Donato, and I'm a member of the Victim Survivors Advisory Council.

You see, my daughter, Adriana was murdered by her ex-boyfriend back in 2012, and I'm there to be the voice for women who have lost their lives and for her. VSAC was created after the royal commission, and it's there for people with lived experience to have a voice so that they can be involved in the reforms against domestic and family violence. And it's a diverse council, so we have people from all walks of life. It's important to have everybody represented on the group. Family violence and domestic violence affects everybody. We need to recognise the patterns of behavior of domestic violence and family violence and call it out.

In my daughter's case, the perpetrator told his friends that he was going to murder Adriana and nobody called it out. She didn't know. If somebody had told my daughter he wanted to kill her, she would never have ever gotten into the car with him.

It destroyed many lives. It's just horrific. And the chain reaction just keeps going on and on and on. One woman each week is murdered by their partner or former partner. And that's got to stop. It's not only just physical harm, it could be coercive control, financial control.

It could happen with even within young people. So they need to recognise it and they need to call it out because by calling it out, it could save somebody's life. I share my story to motivate schools and parents to participate.

It's important for young people to be taught about what a healthy relationship looks like. We need to teach our young people about gender inequality. We can stop domestic and family violence and stop the murders of women here in Australia.

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