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'I thought it was normal': MP on violence

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016 Jamie McKinnell

As an 11-year-old, Queensland MP Sid Cramp was grateful for the bolt lock on his bedroom door.

Mr Cramp can still remember putting his younger siblings to bed, securing the bolt, and quietly waiting.

In a home where alcohol-fuelled violence was rife, Friday and Saturday nights were the worst.

"I was always apprehensive about being home," the Liberal National Party MP told state parliament on Tuesday.

Some nights, it became so bad he was forced to jump out the window and call police from his neighbour's house.

"What I would have given for a mobile phone in those days," the Gold Coast-based MP said.

"I was always grateful though, for the bolt lock on my bedroom door that had held on so many occasions."

Mr Cramp shared his deeply personal experience of family violence while speaking in support of strengthened legislation to prevent the "absolute scourge on our community and (which) should never, ever be tolerated or accepted".

Recalling his own experience was enough to move the MP to tears.

"Amazing, after 30 years, isn't it," he said, composing himself.

"I thought for some time that this situation was just accepted as normal, as the situation seemed hidden or not spoken about by those around me."

Mr Cramp had lost his father in an accident years earlier, cutting off the family's sole income and forcing his mother and five siblings into public housing.

He recalled how grateful he was for the police officers who helped him climb back into his bedroom window so the perpetrator wouldn't know who raised the alarm.

Mr Cramp, who has previously stopped short of sharing his own story, said he was inspired by hearing a survivor speak at a recent sexual violence prevention event.

"I do see how much a negative situation can actually be a source of power to assist others in facing the same issue," he said.

The legislation being debated would, among other provisions, provide Queensland victims with more tailored protection and grant police greater scope to consider immediate protection against suspected offenders.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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