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Queensland Government media release

A new Domestic Violence High Risk Team for the Cairns Region will save lives through earlier intervention and ensure high-risk perpetrators are tracked.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the High Risk Team would include key people like Police, health professionals and Child Safety staff along with representatives from the Department of Justice and Attorney-General and Housing and Public Works to help the women and children at highest risk of domestic and family violence as part of a $2.2 million investment over three years.

“This is about wrapping services around victims of domestic and family violence to make sure they have the support they need to get their lives back on track.

“It is also about ensuring perpetrators and held to account and the risk they pose is monitored.”

“One agency on their own is not always able, or best positioned, to provide the breadth of actions necessary to reduce risk and inform safety plans.”

“The Not Not Not Ever report notes most Domestic and Family Violence deaths are preventable and the way to prevent these deaths is to set up these sorts of high risk teams.”

“In most cases there are repeated opportunities to intervene and these teams working together will ensure those opportunities are less likely to be missed.”

“An integrated response enables everyone with a role in keeping victims safe and holding a perpetrator to account to collaborate and work together.”

The Cairns region was chosen as the location for a High Risk Team after the number of Domestic Violence Orders at Cairns Magistrate rose 14% in the last year.

“We have brought Domestic and Family Violence out of the shadows and now more people are reporting, which is an important step to keeping women and children safe,” Ms Fentiman said.

The $2.2 million High Risk Team will employ nine staff across the agencies involved.

The announcement for the Cairns Region follows the establishment of High Risk Teams in Mount Isa, Logan/Beenleigh and Cherbourg.

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford welcomed the injection of resources for the region.

“Helping women who are escaping violent relationships takes a co-ordinated effort across Government and non-government agencies, and this High Risk Team will mean better and more responsive services,” Mr Crawford said.

Ms Fentiman said $650,000 had been allocated this financial year for the establishment of the High Risk Team in Cairns/Mossman.

Local service providers and government agencies will be brought together to collaborate on the integrated service model that works best for Cairns and the surrounding region, so everyone brings their best information and resources to the table – to tackle domestic and family violence in the region.

“This extra funding is a crucial element in the Government’s ongoing commitment to ending domestic and family violence,” she said.

“We want women to know that there is support available to them if they leave violent and abusive relationships.

“When women make this brave decision to leave, we must make sure we have the right support and services there to help.”

The High Risk Teams are part of the government’s response to the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland report.

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

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