The number of reported incidents of domestic violence in Queensland has increased markedly in recent years. In the period from 2010 to 2014 the number of domestic violence events rose from approximately 53,000 to 66,000. This means that there are, on average, 180 incidents of domestic violence reported to Queensland police every day.
Concerned by these figures the Premier of Queensland established a Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland, chaired by The Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO in September 2014. The Taskforce was requested to examine Queensland’s domestic and family violence support systems and make recommendations for improvement. Their report, “Not Now, Not Ever”, was delivered to the Premier on 28 February 2015.
Domestic violence is more topical, political and prevalent than ever before and continues to be a growing concern for everyone.
So what is “domestic violence”?
Historically it has been understood as physical violence being perpetrated by a male upon his female partner. However, the contemporary understanding of domestic violence is much broader, and in fact involves any individual being subjected to an ongoing pattern of abusive behaviour by an intimate partner (including those in a same sex relationship) or family member.
Domestic violence, therefore, includes any of the following:
- Physical or sexual abuse;
- Emotional or psychological abuse, which may include following a person in public, remaining outside a person’s place of work, or repeatedly contacting a person by telephone (including via SMS message);
- Economic abuse, which may include disposing or removing property owned by a person against their wishes, preventing a person from having access to joint financial assets, or preventing a person from seeking or keeping employment;
- Threatening behaviour;
- Coercive behaviour, meaning to compel or force a person to do, or refrain from doing, something; or
- Any other behaviour which controls or dominates a person and causes that person to fear for their personal safety or wellbeing, or that of someone else.
If you have experienced any of the behaviour outlined above and reside in Queensland, you can apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order. Please note that the terminology and effect of orders of this kind differs from State to State.
A Domestic Violence Protection Order is an order made by a court that imposes conditions to protect a person from future domestic violence. Depending on the circumstances, a Domestic Violence Protection Order can be temporary protection order and then, if required, a final long term Order lasting for a period of up to two years in duration,.
If you are in any immediate danger we recommend you call 000.