A major milestone in the fight against domestic and family violence has been achieved, with the Premier announcing all 140 of the landmark Not Now, Not Ever report recommendations have been implemented.
The Premier said Queensland continues to lead the nation in its efforts to prevent and respond to domestic and family violence and her government had been working hard since receiving the report in 2015 to achieve this result.
“Five years ago, the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland – chaired by the Honourable Quentin Bryce – examined the State’s domestic and family violence support systems, providing recommendations as part of the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland report,” the Premier said.
“Without hesitation my government accepted all 140 recommendations (121 were recommendations for government) and started work immediately on delivering them.
“As I said then, which stands today – domestic and family violence is a violation of basic human rights and there is no excuse for not acting to eliminate it.
“As a government, and as a community, we brought the issue of domestic and family violence out from behind closed doors.
“We started along a very challenging path to stop the behaviours and attitudes that excuse or perpetuate domestic and family violence with significant reforms leading to everlasting change.
“We invested a record $328.9 million over six years to respond to the recommendations and support the implementation of our 10-year Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy.
“My Government has always been, and continues to be, committed to ending domestic and family violence in Queensland and I want to thank everyone involved in this report and delivering these outcomes.
“I’d like to pay special tribute to the Honourable Quentin Bryce for her work on the report and Kay McGrath for chairing the Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council, which champions our reform agenda and oversights implementation activities.”
Key achievements from the implementation of the recommendations include:
- Establishing permanent specialist domestic and family violence courts. This started as a trial at Southport which was expanded to Beenleigh and Townsville with circuits to Mount Isa and Palm Island.
- It was recommended the government fund two new domestic and family violence shelters. The Palaszczuk Government built seven. None had been built in 20 years.
- The report said victims needed more support. The government implemented high-risk teams in key regional areas such as Ipswich, Cairns and Brisbane.
- It was recommended laws should be amended to better protect Queenslanders and consider strangulation as an offence. The government did that and made it a standalone offence holding perpetrators to account.
- The government implemented respectful relationships education in Queensland schools which will change behaviours in future generations by instilling respect for one another as a fundamental attitude.
- The government strengthened workplace support for victims in Queensland Government departments and introduced 10 days Domestic Violence leave.
- And through communication campaigns bystanders were urged to do something and victims were encouraged to reach out to the growing number of support services available, including DV Connect.
Council Chair Kay McGrath said it’s been an honour working with other council members to oversee the implementation of these recommendations.
“When I was first appointed to the Council, the enormity of the challenge was quite overwhelming, so to be able to reflect on that and what has been achieved today is really remarkable,” Ms McGrath said.
“We have travelled the state speaking with doctors and nurses; with school principals, teachers and their students; with child safety officers; with judges and police officers; disability advocates; and services providers.
“I have been inspired and heartened by the efforts of people who work tirelessly every day to support victims and stop the violence from continuing to occur.
“I have also had the honour of speaking with survivors – the personal experiences shared by these brave women were profoundly affecting and something I will never forget.”
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the plan would continue to progress our focus on changing culture and attitudes, integrating services responses, and strengthening our justice responses.
“Implementing all the recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever report is a really significant milestone, and the fact that Queenslanders have achieved this shows just how far we’ve come since the report was released,” she said.
“However, there is still much more to do, and we will continue to work in partnership with community and business to do everything we can to change the culture, behaviours and attitudes that contribute to domestic and family violence.
“Our first priority is and will always be the safety of people experiencing domestic and family violence – everyone has the right to be safe and to feel safe in their own homes.
“We are resolute in our commitment to preventing and responding to domestic and family violence in Queensland, and we say: Not Now, Not Ever, Together.”
The Palaszczuk Government recently released the Third Action Plan 2019-20 to 2021-22 of Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016-26 to continue Queensland’s reform efforts and encourage greater collaboration with business and the community.
Delivery of recommendations report: https://www.csyw.qld.gov.au/resources/campaign/end-violence/dfvp-nnne-delivery-of-recommendations-report.pdf