By Kym Agius
There are on average 180 domestic violence incidents in Queensland each day and a new report makes 140 recommendations to protect victims and hold abusers to account.
The “Not now, Not ever” report was handed down by domestic violence taskforce chair former Governor-General Quentin Bryce, who was alarmed by the statistics.
In Queensland, the number of reported incidents to Queensland police increased from 58,000 in 2011-12 to 66,000 in 2013-14, equating to more than 180 incidents every day.
In 2012-13, there were 17 homicides.
“They (the statistics) are shocking, but do not do full justice to the trauma we have heard about from survivors,” Ms Bryce said when giving the report to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Their stories could have come from war zones.
“Stories of women brutalised, raped, beaten, controlled, isolated.”
The taskforce travelled across Queensland over the last five months interviewing survivors to get personal insights into the trauma.
The report makes 140 recommendations, which Ms Bryce said sets out a model for service responses than can quickly protect victims and hold perpetrators to account.
It recommended a specialist domestic and family violence court with specialist magistrates.
The report said the Government should also create a prevention strategy, introduce tougher penalties as well as a new charge of non-lethal strangulation.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her Government would consider all the recommendations.
“Domestic and family violence is a violation of basic human rights and there is no excuse for not acting to eliminate it,” she said.
The purpose of the Taskforce is to provide an insight of the current level of domestic and family violence currently infiltrating Queensland homes. In terms of the business sector, the Taskforce has recognised the need for “work-based programs, for examples leave provisions and policies, and awareness raising activities” and highly recommends “…initiatives such as Australia’s CEO Challenge (a workplace domestic violence prevention program) [who] are driving campaigns to break the silence surrounding domestic and family violence”.
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