Tanya Plibersek’s daughter has revealed how her mother turned down an opportunity to become Labor leader to help convict her abusive boyfriend.
The then-deputy Labor leader had been considering running for the top job in May, 2019.
It came after the Labor Party lost the federal election to Scott Morrison and the party desperately looked to replace its leader Bill Shorten.
Ms Plibersek pulled out of the race before Anthony Albanese was voted into the leadership role and eventually became Prime Minister in May, 2022.
Ms Plibersek said she felt confident she would’ve won the leadership challenge but had no regrets over her decision to bow out.
Tanya Plibersek has revealed how she turned down the opportunity to become Labor leader so she could support her daughter who was being abused by her boyfriend
Ms Plibersek’s daughter Anna revealed her mother had made the choice with her in mind.
Anna had been abused over several years by her then-boyfriend and was preparing to take him to court.
Ms Plibersek said she wanted to support her daughter knowing she would be called in as a witness in court, it was reported in Nine Newspapers’ Good Weekend supplement.
‘And the thought of not being able to be there for her through that was just too much,’ Ms Plibersek said.
Anna had been abused by her then-boyfriend since the start of their relationship as teenagers.
She was around 18-years-old at the time her mother was working as the deputy Labor leader and in the running for the top job in 2019.
Anna was subjected to violent and controlling behaviour, serious sexual assault and financial abuse.
She kept the abuse a secret from her family during the early days while she was still in her mid-teens.
Anna lost weight, withdrew from her family and friends, became emotionally distant, slept throughout the day and wandered the house at night.
‘I experienced pretty much every kind of abuse you can think of,’ she said.
Anna eventually came forward and broke her silence to her family before her abusive then-boyfriend was taken to court.
He was convicted of assault and it was revealed he had been convicted for serious crimes against other girls but he has never gone to jail.
Anna revealed the court process had been a traumatic experience for her as she spent four days in the witness box.
Ms Plibersek revealed she had been dealing with a traumatic family incident during the leadership ballot and had chosen to stick by her daughter Anna (pictured with Anna, left, Louis, husband Michael Coutts-Trotter and Joseph, right)
Ms Plibersek said she was left devastated after hearing about the things that had been done to her daughter
Her friends and parents were also called in to give evidence.
Anna revealed one of the toughest moments throughout the ordeal was seeing her father Michael Coutts-Trotter cry.
She said her mother cried all the time, when she was sad or happy, but her father had never cried in front of her.
Anna said she believed her mother would have made a great Labor leader if she had not pulled out of the contest for the top job in 2019.
Ms Plibersek said she was left devastated after hearing about the things that had been done to her daughter.
‘You ask yourself whether you could have or should have done more to protect your child,’ she said.
Anna joined a group of friends to create not-for-profit group The Survivor Hub in 2021.
The organisation offers support to survivors through social media, online and face-to-face meetings.
Ms Plibersek took to Twitter to throw her support behind her daughter after she shared her story of survival with the Channel Nine-owned newspaper.
‘Like any parents, her father and I were devastated when we found out,’ she said.
‘We know this is a story that is so common in Australia. We know the statistics about one in five Australian women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
‘Those statistics are just devastating’.
Ms Plibersek shared her story on her leadership ballot and life in politics in the upcoming book ‘Tanya Plibersek: On Her Own Terms’.
The book was written by Margaret Simons and will be released on March 7.