QLD government cracking down on domestic violence

LACEE BUZZA

With one in three women experiencing physical violence since the age of 15, it’s no surprise the Queensland government is weighing in on the issue.

In a landmark announcement, the Queensland Government is set to implement all 140 recommendations in Dame Quentin Bryce’s report into domestic and family violence.

Speaking outside parliament yesterday, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government response would provide the framework for wide ranging legal, social and cultural change.

“The time is right for action and I believe the community has the will to change,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

New laws will make the punishment for domestic violence the same as assaulting a police officer and there’s also going to be a greater emphasis on domestic violence education in schools.

“Domestic and family violence is such a breach of trust that it deserves a higher penalty and the Criminal Code will be changed to reflect this,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The change couldn’t come at a better time for domestic violence victim, Samantha*, who deals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being caught up in an abusive relationship.

“All the recommendations are commendable but the focus on education is extremely important,” Samantha said.

“It wasn’t until I had left that I realised I was in such a toxic relationship.”

“I sat down and looked up the definition of abuse and realised that I was a victim of domestic violence.”

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On the education front, the government will be working with principals, teachers and school communities to teach children about healthy respectful relationships.

Despite this, Samantha believes skewing this education towards adults in seats of power also needs to be addressed.

“Through my experiences some of the most uneducated in terms of domestic violence are fully grown, successful adults,” she said.

“My bosses would phone me straight after I’d walked out of court because they were short staffed.”

“People who haven’t been through it have this mentality that domestic violence doesn’t happen in what collar society… we need editors, magistrates, lawyers, solicitors and the likes to have a more educated understanding of this.”

Ms Palaszczuk is determined to bring about effective change.

“Now we’ve identified more priorities and with government and community working together, we can decide to eliminate this scourge from our society.”

*Name has been change to protect the identity of the source.

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