Domestic violence surge sparks major funding boost

Savannah Meacham and Fraser Barton |

Queensland police receive about 140,000 calls about domestic and family violence every year.
Queensland police receive about 140,000 calls about domestic and family violence every year.

Queensland’s government is committing extra funding for frontline and support services to stem the rising tide of domestic of family violence.

Offences are trending upwards in the Sunshine State, with a recent crime report showing breaches of domestic violence orders rising by 255 per cent since 2014.

In the past three years alone, domestic violence offences have surged by 27.3 per cent, according to government statistics.

The Queensland government has responded by introducing a $154 million package over four years to aid frontline services and prevention initiatives.

The cash includes an extra $118 million announced on Friday, following up a $36 million pledge in May to support services.

“That’s a very substantial increase in funding to what is a very important sector supporting largely women and children escaping domestic violence,” Premier Steven Miles said.

The sector desperately needs more investment to stamp out offences, Ending Violence Against Women and Children Queensland co-chair Amie Carrington said.

She welcomed Friday’s announcement that a 20 per cent funding boost would be made recurrent when the state budget was handed down in a fortnight.

“Recurring funding ensures increased sustainability for our specialist workforce, who provide essential frontline services to the community,” she said.

“This is a positive step towards resourcing the growing need for our essential services.”

Queensland Premier Steven Miles and Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath
Programs to end the cycle of domestic violence are funded in the new package, Yvette D’Ath said. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the funding would go towards employing more staff and helping services deliver counselling and emergency accommodation to victim-survivors.

“It will also help fund programs which will specifically try to break the cycle of violence through strategies targeting the people who use violence or are at risk of using violence,” she said.

Police are among those on the front line, with figures showing calls regarding domestic and family violence will reach 190,000 in 2024.

Recently, police introduced safe spaces in stations for victim-survivors and have a focus on trauma-informed response.

With all of the extra spending, the bottom line for the government is to end all forms of domestic and family violence, Ms D’Ath said.

Total funding since 2015 to combat domestic, sexual and family violence and improve women’s safety in Queensland is now $1.9 billion.

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