Queensland Law Society recognises the devastating impact of domestic and family violence in our community.
It is committed to advocating for measures which reduce the prevalence of all forms of domestic and family violence, shift cultural attitudes and behaviours, and better protect victims.
The QLS Call to Parties statement for the 2020 state election seeks commitments to:
- Maintain existing specialist domestic violence courts and continue the roll out of specialist domestic violence courts throughout Queensland.
- Urgent allocation of funding for modern infrastructure at all Magistrates Courts to facilitate court appearances in a safe way, including:
- proper teleconference and videoconference facilities, to facilitate mentions by way of technology and avoid the need for parties in unsafe situations to attend in person
- safety rooms
- panic buttons in interview rooms
- safe entry and exits of courthouses for aggrieved parties
- increased and improved security at courthouses to protect vulnerable parties
- Conduct specialist training and in particular, trauma-informed training for judicial members addressing the particular considerations and needs relevant to minority groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, the LGBTIQ+ community and young adults (under 21 years of age) in domestic and family violence matters
- Continue and expand perpetrator programs, domestic and family violence services and court-based support for victims of domestic and family violence and respondents to ensure that:
- all major regional centres have sufficient access to these resources
- programs are available free of charge for self-referred perpetrators seeking assistance
- DFV perpetrator programs in prison are accessible and available for convicted DFV offenders
- Fund culturally appropriate perpetrator programs developed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including funding for long term follow up and support within communities
- Fund a trial of early intervention strategies to address perpetrator behaviour from point of first contact with the Queensland Police Service
- Fund ongoing training and education for QPS officers on domestic and family violence to enhance understanding of the dynamics of relationships involving violence and to improve the capacity of first responders to properly identify perpetrators of violence
- The development of a renewed Queensland Women’s Strategy beyond 2021, to review and continue strategies developed in the ‘Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016-21’ towards promoting gender equality and protecting the rights of women and girls, to drive cultural and structural change which will contribute to addressing domestic and family violence in Queensland.
Members are invited to review the Call to Parties statement here. The Queensland state election is due to be held on 31 October.