Queensland women’s voices on domestic and family violence to be heard
Queensland Government media release
Attorney-General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman is inviting women to come forward and talk about their experiences dealing with the criminal justice system.
The Attorney said public submissions are now open to the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce chaired by former judge, the Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC.
The Taskforce is another of the ongoing measures addressing violence against women in all its forms.
“This is a significant step forward in tackling violence against women in our community,” Minister Fentiman said.
“Our Government has made significant progress to prevent and respond to domestic, family and sexual violence in Queensland, but we know there is more work to be done.”
“The work of the Women’s Safety and Justice taskforce is crucial in looking at what barriers women face when they report on violence committed against them, and to look at laws that will keep women safe and hold perpetrators to account.
“The information shared will allow the taskforce to look into areas of reform, including attitudinal change, prevention, service response, training for first responders and legislative amendment, with a trauma approach.”
Submissions can be made through the secure portal on the taskforce website at www.womenstaskforce.qld.gov.au to assist with its wide-ranging review exploring not only women’s experience with the criminal justice system, but also the issue of coercive control and consideration of this behaviour as a specific offence of domestic violence.
“We thank the women who will come forward to tell their stories and we respect that for some women for whom this is not possible, that their experience is acknowledges,” Minister Fentiman said.
The Chair of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce, the Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC, said all Queensland women had the option to submit their personal experiences if they wished to do so.
“This is just one of the ways the Taskforce will reach out to hear the voices of Queensland women and girls as we carefully examine the challenges they face,” Ms McMurdo said.
“Anyone can make a submission to inform the Taskforce’s work.
“You may be a victim or survivor of domestic, family or sexual violence, a friend or family member, or a woman accused or convicted of criminal offences. We want to hear your views as we look into possible areas for reform.”
Members of the public wishing to make a submission to the taskforce can submit written or typed documents, or upload voice recordings.
Announced in March this year by the Queensland Government, the Taskforce will also undertake consultation with relevant advocacy groups, domestic, family and sexual violence service providers and networks, the judiciary, and prosecution and policing agencies before making recommendations to the Government.
“Those making submissions of their personal experiences can rest assured that this can be done confidentially and with the knowledge that it will assist the taskforce with its work to create change to keep women safe,” Ms McMurdo said.
The taskforce will also release discussion papers in late 2021 aimed at seeking the experiences of women in the state, including those of culturally and linguistically diverse people as well as those with disability.
Forums, with appropriate COVID measures in place, will also be held in the future for those wishing to participate.
Further information about the Women’s Safety and Justice taskforce, its consultation and engagement activities, and how to make a submission can be found at the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce website.
*If anything in this statement has brought up concerns, contact DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811 (24 hours, 7 days per week), Sexual Assault Helpline on 1800 010 120 (7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days), or Lifeline on 13 11 44 (24 hours, 7 days).