How Queensland Courts is helping
In Queensland, there were around 32,000 domestic violence applications made in the 2015/16 financial year. This is an increase of over 20% from the previous year.
Queensland Courts intends to provide quicker, coordinated and consistent responses to these applications to better protect and support victims, and hold perpetrators to account.
We understand that attending court for domestic violence matters is complex and there may be ongoing fear, intimidation and risk to the safety of one or more people.
Therefore, we are implementing several initiatives to better support those affected by domestic violence, achieve fair and protective outcomes for victims, and hold perpetrators to account.
Much of this work forms part of the Queensland Government’s response to the report of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland (the Taskforce Report).
Our contribution includes:
- Rolling out specialist DFV Courts at Southport, Beenleigh, Mt Isa and Townsville (the Townsville specialist DFV court also circuits to Palm Island)
- sharing information electronically between police and courts
- improving access to tools and information to help everyone participate in the legal system
- improving access to interpreter services
- providing victims a ‘special witness’ status when giving evidence
- establishing a Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board
- giving courts and registry staff ongoing mandatory training
- working with other states and territories on the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme
- releasing a bench book and best practice report for judicial officers
- establishing high risk teams to provide integrated, culturally appropriate responses to victims and their children assessed to be at high risk of serious harm.