The Palaszczuk Government is boosting support for victims of domestic, family, and sexual violence with extra funding for services across the state.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the extra $30 million today during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.
“While, as a society, we must do everything we can to stop domestic and family violence, recent tragic events have reminded us again of how critical support services are to Queensland women when they come forward,” the Premier said.
“The additional $30 million will be delivered over the next four years and is on top of the $7.5 million extra we committed last year to cope with the higher demand on services during the global pandemic.”
The Premier said domestic, family, and sexual violence is an incredibly complex issue to tackle – but as a government we are tackling it head on.
“We have invested more to prevent it than any other government in Queensland’s history and have worked hard on generational reforms,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“That includes changing attitudes and strengthening justice responses including implementing respectful relationships in schools, establishing specialist domestic and family violence courts and funding new shelters for people escaping violence and abuse.
“We know there is still a lot of work to do and that’s why we have established the independent Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce to examine how best to legislate against coercive control in Queensland and to examine more broadly women’s experiences in the criminal justice system.
“Public submissions are now open for women to come forward and confidentially and securely share their experiences and insights and I encourage them to do so.”
Treasurer Cameron Dick said the extended funding will provide certainty to vital services providers across Queensland.
“This commitment means that victims of Domestic and Family Violence will have better access to supporting, counselling and programs that will help them rebuild their lives.
“That support involves immediate emergency assistance to provide safety from dangerous situations, but also long-term measures that provide women and children with stability, security and a safer future.”
Attorney-General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said Queensland had seen an increase in demand on services.
“This has been driven by recent tragic events, the COVID-19 pandemic and with brave women like our Australian of the Year Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins coming forward and putting women’s safety and sexual assault on the national agenda,” Minister Fentiman said.
“That’s why we are taking action to give services a boost, with extra funding of $30 million to be delivered over four years because we know more needs to be done to end violence against women.
“Funding will be made available to help existing services meet the immediate demand in the short term, with consideration being given to how the funding should be prioritised in the longer term to respond to community need.”
Minister Fentiman thanked those who had shared their stories, the thousands of women who marched and the leadership of the Premier for putting women’s issues on the national agenda.
“This is all a reflection of the thousands of women who marched, who spoke out and who said ‘enough is enough’ – no more violence. These brave and courageous women came forward and forced the nation to take notice – this is who we have to thank,” Minister Fentiman said.
Including today’s announcement, the Palaszczuk Government has committed more than $585 million since 2015 to target domestic and family violence.