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Queensland Government media release

Victims of domestic violence who want to stay in their homes are being supported with safety upgrades to their property, technology and cars.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said many women who made the tough decision to leave a violent relationship didn’t want to relocate.

“We know many women don’t want to move out of the family home once they’ve made that difficult decision to end a relationship,” she said.

“Being able to stay in the family home means they are able to maintain any routines and also means they are close to support networks.

“But it also means children have stability and are able to stay at their school, and in their own home.

“These safety upgrades give women the option to stay safely in their own homes.”

Ms Fentiman said 604 safety upgrades had been provided so far, delivering on a recommendation of the Not Now, Not Ever report.

In the 2015-16 financial year the Palaszczuk Government provided $1.38 million to eight organisations to help deliver these upgrades.

“This year we have increased the funding even further to $1.82 million per annum and I’m looking forward to seeing how many safety upgrades are achieved at the end of this financial year,” she said.

“These upgrades are delivered through domestic violence counselling and support services to ensure there is careful consideration of the risks for each victim before a decision about safety upgrades is made.”

Ms Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government had secured $1.5 million in Commonwealth Funding for a three year trial in four regions to help more victims remain in their homes.

“The Keeping Women Safe in Their Home trial uses new and emerging technologies to enhance safety,” she said.

“This can work in two ways, firstly by providing the victim with devices such as personal duress alarms, home security cameras linked to recording devices, phones and other surveillance devices and smart phone applications.

“But safety can also be enhanced by engaging a technology consultant to complete safety audits on the victim’s home, car, home computer and smart phone.”

The trial started in September last year and is being undertaken in Cairns, Ipswich, Rockhampton and Caboolture.

It builds on legislative changes introduced by the Palaszczuk Government to make it mandatory for magistrates to consider ouster orders on Domestic Violence Order applications.

Tanya Modeni from the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service said this was about ensuring women and children are kept safe.

“This is really contributing to women being safe at home,” she said.

“For people who want to stay at home, and the partner has left, this is a great way to straightaway put in safety measures so they can feel more confident.

“Often people don’t have the funds themselves, and this allows us to link them with the experts to ensure the right safety upgrades happen for each individual.”

Grant Killen, a risk assessment and management specialist with Protective Group, said there has been a significant increase in the number of people and organisations engaging his business in the last year.

“Perpetrators are increasingly turning to technology to track their victims,” Mr Killen said. 

“We are able to work with the victims and domestic and family violence service providers to give advice and carry out technology service audits on their cars and homes to help mitigate the risk of such technologies being used against them.”

For more information on the Government’s actions to tackle domestic and family violence in Queensland go to www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/end-domestic-and-family-violence/queensland-government-response

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