By April Murphy
Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce has opened to those who wish to voice their experiences and insights into the Queensland Criminal Justice system.
Submissions can also be provided about how best to legislate to address coercive control and the need for a specific offence of domestic violence.
The Chair of the Taskforce, the Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC, said women and girls are being invited to tell about their experiences of the criminal justice system to understand best where change is needed.
“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”, says Ms McMurdo
The Taskforce is open to submissions from anyone.
“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,” says Ms McMurdo.
Members of the public, or a support person on their behalf, can submit written or typed documents or upload voice recordings.
People submitting can choose what personal information to provide and advise the Taskforce how they would like their data used.
“You do not need to tell us your personal story if you do not want to share it. The Taskforce appreciates that involvement in the justice system is often traumatic and that people engaging with us must feel safe,” Ms McMurdo said.
The Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce was announced in March 2021 jointly by the Premier and Minister for Trade, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, and the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, the Hon Shannon Fentiman MP.
The Taskforce will soon release discussion papers seeking input on specific issues and hold targeted consultation forums to address its terms of reference. Regular updates will be provided through the Taskforce website.
Ms McMurdo has already met with many key stakeholders, including domestic and family violence workers and lawyers, members of the judiciary and police, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Queensland Domestic and Family Co-Chairs Violence Prevention Council.
“Submissions will help the Taskforce consider how best to keep women experiencing domestic and family violence safe, hold perpetrators to account and improve the experiences of women and girls across the criminal justice system,” says Ms McMurdo
Further information about the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce, its consultation and engagement activities, and how to submit can be found at: www.womenstaskforce.qld.gov.au.