State-wide domestic violence support network, DVConnect, will receive an extra $2 million of funding, to keep up with increasing demand.
Concerning new figures have shown the hotline is receiving close to 2000 calls for support every week, or nearly 300 a day.
The Queensland Government has provided the funding on top of the $6.5 million already provided to DVConnect in the latest state budget.
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Attorney General, Minister for Justice, Women, and Prevention of Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman says the funding is vital.
“Following a number of tragic murders of women and children across Queensland, we know that demand for specialist services remains high,” Minister Fentiman says.
“This demand has coincided with rising public awareness about the danger of coercive control.”
Between July 2019 and June 2022, the hotline has fielded a record 306,000 calls for support.
Of those, 157,565 are directed to the Womensline, and 17,912 to the Mensline.
CEO of DVConnect Beck O’Connor said the announcement comes at a time when the team are working tirelessly to answer and support every caller.
“DVConnect receives 1 call for help every five minutes and our counsellors are working hard to meet this demand while navigating all the complexities we’ve seen throughout the pandemic,” Ms O’Connor says.
“Continued funding helps my team to provide a path to safety for every brave Queenslander who calls our service.”
Minister Fentiman says pandemic stress has added to the increasing pressure on the system.
“We know the Covid-19 pandemic has compounded the complexities experienced by families impacted by domestic and family violence,”
“While it is good news that more women are reaching out for support, and more men are being referred, the team at DVConnect are under increasing pressure due to the volume and nature of calls.”
The funding follows a series of reforms announced by the State Government earlier this year following the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce’s first Hear Her Voice report.
There are plans to criminalise coercive control before the end of the next year.