By Juliano Oliveira
Expecting an increase in the number of victims, the Queensland Government has decided to inject approximately $5.5 million on domestic and family violence program.
As COVID-19 is toughening up financial pressures and social isolation among families, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there are serious concerns for victims of domestic violence.
“I want people to know that they do have options, they don’t have to stay in a violent household,” the Premier said.
“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.”
The $5.5 million funding includes:
- $1.5 million – to boost capacity of the 24/7 statewide crisis service DVConnect, including Womensline and Mensline and enabling online support.
- $1.7 million to address crisis accommodation needs, including transiting women to alternative accommodation to free up capacity in shelters.
- $1.8 million to enhance specialist domestic, family and sexual violence services to meet anticipated demand
- $500,000 to support a new awareness campaign.
Police Minister Mark Ryan also announced there is now a new domestic and family violence reporting tool now available via the Queensland Police website.
“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,” Minister 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.”
According to the State, the COAG Women’s Safety Council “has agreed that $32.5 million will be provided as an initial response to states and territories to help meet an urgent need, with a further $97.5 million to be allocated over the next six months.”
Queensland will direct its share of funding to meet the needs of those experiencing violence, particularly in the priority areas of:
- Safer housing and emergency accommodation
- counselling and outreach
- crisis support and helplines
- men’s behaviour change programs and other perpetrator interventions
- assisting frontline services to manage the demand and explore new technology-based service delivery methods and
- responding to the unique challenges in regional, rural and remote locations.