The State Government has today announced a $5.5 million cash injection to support Queenslanders suffering domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the state sadly expects to see an increase in cases of domestic and family violence due to people being told to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus.
She said there were serious concerns for victims during the coronavirus crisis due to increased financial pressures and social isolation.
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“We understand that being in your homes can present challenges ” the Premier said.
“I want people to know that they do have options, they don’t have to stay in a violent household.”
As part of the multi-million dollar package, $1.5 million will be given to boost the capacity of the 24/7 statewide crisis service DVConnect, $1.7 million will be put towards crisis accommodation, $1.8 million to enhance specialist domestic, family and sexual violence services to meet anticipated demand and $500,000 will be used to produce a new awareness campaign.
“We know that sometimes women need to get out of situations and we are providing that money to put in place crisis accommodation so you and your family can be safe during this time,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We’re boosting support for essential government-funded services, so people have someone to turn to and somewhere else to go if they need.
“Depending on a person’s circumstances and needs, this could include shelters, hotels or residential properties.
“Service providers will work with victims to place them in the safest and most appropriate accommodation for their individual needs.”
BREAKING: $5.5 million to boost domestic and family violence services and make sure there’s capacity to respond to Queenslanders who are experiencing DFV during COVID-19.
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) April 8, 2020
The Premier also said that support for victims of domestic violence is one of the reasons why they allowed two people to visit a home at a time.
“One of the reasons why we had the additional two people could come to your home, is that if you feel the need to speak to a friend and you cant do that within your home, there is the opportunity for you to do that within the laws of Queensland.”
“If you are a woman who is feeling vulnerable at the moment, please do not hesitate to contact DV connect on 1800 811 811.”
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the risk of domestic and family violence was growing as more families faced financial pressures caused by job losses.
“We also know that perpetrators in forced isolation with their victims could use the health crisis to exert greater control, fear and intimidation,” she said.
“I have been holding regular discussions with key stakeholders and have listened to their concerns.
“This funding package has been developed as an immediate response to address the most pressing areas of need.”
Queensland Police have also launched online reporting, where people can go online to report domestic and violence and connect with officers.
Since being launched just days ago, 13 people have already used the platform to report domestic violence.
“The Police Commissioner has said that there are serious concerns with barriers to reporting caused by COVID-19 restrictions, so being able to use an online tool gives victims the ability to make a report discreetly,” Police Minister Mark Ryan said.
“It’s important to note that the online tool is for non-urgent matters, people should always use Triple-0 for urgent matters and emergencies.”
The Premier also today announced that the DV Summit which was scheduled to be held this month before the COVID-19 pandemic will be held virtually in May to coincide with Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.
If you are in immediate danger call 000 now. If you require advice or assistance, the following services offer counselling and support.
Lifeline 24/7 telephone crisis support 13 11 14
DV Connect Queensland Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 phone 1800 811 811
1800RESPECT 24/7 phone 1800 737 732
Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast