Queensland’s recently assembled Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce (WSJT) has issued an invitation to all “women and girls” to share their experiences and insights of the state’s justice system.
The taskforce today called for submissions on how to best legislate to address the topical issue of coercive control and whether to introduce it as a specific offence of domestic violence.
WSJT Chair the Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC said the taskforce was specifically asking “women and girls” to tell it about their experiences of the criminal justice system so that it could best understand where change was needed.
“This is just one of the ways the taskforce will reach out to hear the voices of Queensland women and girls as we carefully examine the challenges they face,” Ms McMurdo said in a written statement.
“Anyone can make a submission to inform the taskforce’s work. You may be a victim or survivor of domestic, family or sexual violence, a friend or family member, or a woman accused or convicted of criminal offences.
“We want to hear your views as we look into possible areas for reform.”
Two months ago the Queensland Government announced the formation of Australia’s first independent taskforce to consult and advise on how to best to legislate against coercive control.
Coercive control is the term given to a pattern of assault, threats, intimidation, humiliation, and other abuse that erodes a person’s autonomy and ability to flourish.
Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman in March launched the taskforce a year after the tragic and horrific murder of Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke and her children in a domestic violence case that shocked the nation.
Submissions can be made securely from today via the taskforce website, womenstaskforce.qld.gov.au.
Members of the public, or a support person on their behalf, can submit written or typed documents, or upload voice recordings.
People making a submission can choose what personal information to provide and advise the taskforce how they would like their information used.
Ms McMurdo said: “You do not need to tell us your personal story if you do not want to share it.
“The taskforce appreciates that involvement in the justice system is often traumatic and that people engaging with us must feel safe.
“Each member of the taskforce and our secretariat acknowledges and appreciates the strength and courage required to share personal and often traumatic experiences.”