Queensland Government to act on domestic violence deaths review
Published Friday, 31 May, 2019 at 02:00 PM
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer
The Palaszczuk Government has today responded to the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board’s second annual report, accepting or accepting in principle all thirteen recommendations.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the 2017-18 report was the work of the Board’s in-depth reviews into 20 cases of domestic and family violence involving 30 deaths.
“Every one of these deaths was a tragedy – no one should ever have to die because of domestic and family violence,” she said.
“That’s why these reviews are so important, so we can learn everything we can about how we can improve our responses and help prevent deaths from DFV in Queensland.
“We have accepted eight of the report’s recommendations, and accepted the remaining five in principle.”
Ms Farmer said the 2017-18 Annual Report identified a number of priorities, including ways to intervene earlier and help break the cycle.
“One important recommendation we’ve already started to implement is around training and supporting our front line staff,” she said.
“Earlier this week I announced a new service to help our front line workers further develop their skills in responding to specific groups of people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people with disability, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
“The report also identified that how we respond to affected children and young people is especially important, so we will work to identify service gaps and further strengthen our responses to children.
“It also highlights that more needs to be done to help older Queenslanders experiencing intimate partner violence so we have a better understanding of how to recognise and support older Queenslanders and help keep them safe.”
Ms Farmer said the report also highlighted the importance of government and non-government agencies working together to improve safety and keep perpetrators accountable.
“That’s why we have already invested more than $27 million into trials that bring those services together in effective ways, including our High Risk Teams.
“These High Risk Teams identify victims who are at very high risk of death or injury from perpetrators, and make sure government and non-government services act swiftly to protect them.
Ms Farmer praised the work of the board, including its highlighting of a heightened risk of homicide in relationships where non-lethal strangulation had occurred.
“This is something the Palaszczuk government has already acted on in response to the Not Now, Not Ever Report, and in May 2016 we introduced a new offence of choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic setting,” she said.
“This new offence carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment, and the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council’s report handed down last week showed perpetrators are being held to account with more than 150 offenders sent to jail.
“The Palaszczuk Government has done more than any previous government to address the scourge of domestic and family violence.
“There is still more to do, and we will not stop working to end domestic and family violence in Queensland.”
The annual report can be found at https://www.courts.qld.gov.au/courts/coroners-court/review-of-deaths-from-domestic-and-family-violence
Media Contact: Cat Milton 0447 117 132