In February 2015, the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence released its report entitled Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland.
This Report noted that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland experience disproportionately high levels of violence, including domestic and family violence, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women being 35 times more likely than members of the general female population to be hospitalised for spouse/domestic partner assaults.
The Report also notes that the impacts of this violence and abuse in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities cannot be underestimated and contributes to negative effects on psychological and physical health, homelessness, poverty, children’s wellbeing, and education.
The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships is leading and supporting the implementation of a number of recommendations from the Report. This includes recommendation 93 regarding amending the Family Responsibilities Commission Act to include the requirement for a court to notify the Family Responsibilities Commission when a protection order under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act is made naming a welfare reform community resident as the respondent. To give effect to this recommendation, on 1 December 2015, the Family Responsibilities Commission Amendment Bill was passed by the Queensland Parliament. These legislative changes took effect on 17 December 2015.
The department is also working with agency partners to support integrated approaches to improving the safety of victims and their children, including an integrated response to domestic and family violence in discrete Indigenous communities.
This work involves trialling integrated approaches in 3 sites – one in an urban location, one regional city location with outreach, and one discrete Indigenous community – to consider how service systems can work together in a structured and collaborative way to ensure people affected by domestic and family violence receive quality and consistent support.
The trial sites are:
- Logan/Beenleigh (urban trial)
- Mount Isa (regional trial)
- Cherbourg (the discrete Indigenous community trial).
Some outcomes of work across government so far include:
- a Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy and associated Action Plans
- the Violence against Women Prevention Plan, which complements the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy and the Not Now, Not Ever campaign, and is the final step for Queensland in meeting its commitments under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children
- appointing a Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council
- the Not Now Not Ever community campaign.