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Government responds to DFV deaths review

The State Government today announced it had “accepted all” recommendations made in a domestic and family violence (DFV) death review report tabled in Parliament more than seven months ago.

Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Minister Shannon Fentiman this morning released a statement announcing the Queensland Government’s response to DFV Death Review and Advisory Board 2020-21 Annual Report.

The report, which was tabled in Queensland Parliament on 2 November 2021, made six recommendations, including guidance for police and courts on identifying people in most need of protection as informed by international models and approaches in other jurisdictions.

The report recommended:

  • The Queensland Government explore opportunities to improve service collaboration and the coordination of support provided to families, particularly children.
  • Implementation of recommended policy and practice reform proposed by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) in its report ‘Accurately identifying the “person most in need of protection” in domestic and family violence law’.
  • Explore the development of an approach to triage and case manage DFV cases before the Magistrates and District Courts to identify those that are complex, high risk, or that involve cross-applications for protection orders.
  • Evaluate and trial the DFV Capability Assessment Tool for Alcohol and Other Drug Settings in multiple sites across Queensland.
  • Commit to designing a model for a peak body for DFV services to further the objective of increased integration, and workforce development, undertake broader sector advocacy, and support the successful implementation of government policies and reforms, and
  • Explore trauma-informed options to improve the accessibility, availability and acceptability of longer term supports for victims and their children beyond the point of crisis to support them to rebuild their lives.

Ms Fentiman said five of the six board recommendations would be addressed via the implementation of those identified by the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce – headed by former Court of Appeal President and Supreme Court judge Margaret McMurdo AC.

She said there was a strong alignment between the recommendations made in the report and some of the 89 recommendations made by the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce in its first report.

“We are absolutely committed to ending violence against women and girls,” Ms Fentiman said. “That’s why the … Government has accepted all of the Board’s recommendations set out in the DFV Death Review Board’s latest annual report.

“As a result of the alignment with Taskforce recommendations, five of the six Board recommendations will be completed through the implementation of the Taskforce recommendations.”

The Government has already earmarked $363 million to implement all 89 of the Taskforce’s recommendations.

Ms Fentiman said the sixth recommendation – the need to improve support given to families, particularly children who have been impacted by a DFV death – would be addressed via consultation with DFV support services.

“We will be undertaking targeted consultation with services who support victims of homicide and DFV, as well as people with lived experience to shape how we can improve our response to loved ones of DFV homicide victims,” she said.

Read the full government response.

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