Easier access to help for homicide victims and families
Published Thursday, 04 May, 2017 at 12:57 PM
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
Devastated families of homicide victims will have better and faster access to financial help after recent Palaszczuk Government legislative changes.
Speaking at Homicide Awareness Day today, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said reforms to the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 helped reduce the burden on those left behind.
“Homicides are violent, senseless acts with far-reaching effects that can shatter families and friendships, and tear communities apart,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“Our wide-ranging changes will help victims and their families by simplifying the application process for financial assistance and increasing the maximum amounts for some categories of assistance.
“The changes will increase the amount of funeral assistance available to $8000 and will also make the application process easier for victims.
“And our new Charter of Victims’ Rights requires government agencies, and non-government agencies funded by the State or the Commonwealth to provide services to victims, and to treat them with courtesy, compassion, respect and dignity.”
Police statistics show there were 48 homicides in Queensland in 2015–16, down from 54 the previous year.
Mrs D’Ath paid tribute to the Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group for its continuing support and advocacy for victims and their families.
“The Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group has worked tirelessly on behalf of homicide victims for more than 20 years,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“We have provided the group with about $530,000 this financial year to provide crisis response, specialist grief and trauma services, peer support, court support and 24-hour telephone support to families and friends of victims of homicide.
“I also recently approved funding of $530,000 per year for the next three financial years so the group can continue its vital work into 2020.”
Homicide Awareness Day is an annual event that aims to raise community awareness about the victims of violent crime, their needs, justice and safety issues and crime prevention.
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