The Palaszczuk Government will publish regular court statistics about domestic and family violence, in its latest move to bring the crime out of the shadows.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has launched the website to provide regular updates on cases before Queensland Courts, including the state’s specialist Domestic and Family Violence courts.
“The Palaszczuk Government has introduced a suite of legal reforms to help tackle this scourge – from introducing the new criminal offence of strangulation, to increasing penalties for breaches of domestic violence orders, to making domestic violence an aggravating factor in sentencing,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“We now hope making this data available publicly will increase victims’ faith in the system, and reassure them that they will be taken seriously, and that offenders will be held to account.”
The data updated quarterly will include the numbers of domestic violence applications lodged, domestic violence orders made, penalties imposed for breaches of orders, and the number of strangulation offences.
“We saw a dramatic rise in domestic violence charges when we first brought in new laws in 2015-16, because victims were finally able to come forward and know they would be taken seriously,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“Crucially, the data being published today is for the first time showing encouraging signs of stabilisation; the first tentative steps towards the long-term cultural change required to tackle domestic violence.”
“As a Government and a community, we have a responsibility to ensure victims are never afraid or ashamed to seek help.
“We must ensure they feel confident that when they seek assistance they will get the support they require.
“We saw the power of this message when our trial of the specialist domestic and family violence court at Southport first commenced, with a spike in the number of applications lodged.”
Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said while the new statistics were disturbing, the fact that so many people were coming forward about domestic violence was positive.
“This shows that by having an open conversation about these issues, those suffering in silence are gaining the confidence to seek help,” Ms Farmer said.
“We have invested $323 million over six years to implement every recommendation of the landmark Not Now, Not Ever report to tackle domestic violence head-on.
“We have more counselling services available for survivors and their children, high-risk teams being established across the state and we have funded seven new shelters – the first to be built by a Queensland Government in more than two decades.
“These figures show that there is a lot more to do, but we are more determined than ever that no Queenslander should be forced to live with violence in their homes.
“It shows that more and more victims are aware that what is happening to them is not okay, and that there are many services available to support them.”
Mrs D’Ath said the data, which will be available through the Courts website, is commonly requested information used by a wide range of stakeholders.
“We hope this will provide timely and accurate information to service providers, researchers and journalists.
“The Government is also using the data to continue to improve our response to this scourge and raise awareness within the community.”
Mrs D’Ath said that tackling domestic and family violence remained one of the Palaszczuk Government’s highest priorities.
“We will continue to deliver reforms and frontline services which hold perpetrators to account and importantly support victims and prioritise their safety, giving them the confidence to seek the assistance they need,” she said.
The data will be published on the Queensland Courts website courts.qld.gov.au/court-users/researchers-and-public/stats
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer