Extra Domestic Violence (DV) workers will be embedded at five police stations in South East Queensland, to boost the ranks of specialist DV staff already based at some stations.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Di Farmer said funding for the positions was in response to the enormous demand placed on police to respond to reports of domestic violence.
“It will greatly increase specialist capacity at these stations to respond to Queenslanders living with violence at home,” Ms Farmer said.
“An additional $75,000 will go towards two police stations on the Gold Coast to embed workers for people experiencing domestic and family violence.
“The money allocated by the Palaszczuk Government is part of more than $900 000 in contingency funding from the Commonwealth Government for domestic and family violence services during Queensland’s COVID-19 recovery.”
She said the embedding of specialist domestic and family violence workers within police stations was based on a model presented by Rosie O’Malley, CEO of the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre.
“Last year, at the invitation of the Inspector of Coomera Police, we made a domestic violence advocate available at the station one-day-a-week for two months,” Ms O’Malley said.
“The advocate provided urgent support and responses for women presenting to the station’s front desk to report domestic violence.
“By connecting with people reporting violence at the earliest opportunity, our advocate can connect them with broader services including legal advice, support with accommodation and counselling.
“Our aim is to increase the safety and wellbeing of people reporting domestic violence.”
Ms Farmer said eight high-risk domestic and family violence teams operating across Queensland would also receive funding of $300,000 to help coordinate their efforts.
The services are located in Cairns, Mackay, Cherbourg, Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan – Beenleigh.
“These are the men and women on the spot, from a range of government and non-government services, who work together to intervene when the risk of violence is high,” Mr Farmer said.
“They’re saving at-risk Queenslanders from imminent and extreme danger.
“While they’re already highly successful, their work requires a lot of coordination.
“If we can provide an additional coordination resource, then we can also help to free up frontline workers.”
Ms Farmer said the balance of the funding would see two community-based organisations – GIVIT and RIZE UP – receive more than $50,000 each to assist women and children in crisis to move into safe accommodation.
“When people leave violent homes, they need to go quickly and leave possessions behind,” Ms Farmer said.
“They have to set themselves up in a new home from scratch.
“Their kids will have left everything behind too, which often means clothes, school equipment and toys.
“Domestic violence services regularly use part of their funding to supply the essentials for vulnerable families.
“The funding for GIVIT and RIZE UP will help furnish new homes and provide the goods people leaving violence need for a fresh start.
“Both organisations already work with vulnerable people through the generosity of Queenslanders donating goods including whitegoods and furniture.
“This funding will mean domestic violence services can work in partnership with GIVIT and RIZE UP and free up funds for other important initiatives for Queenslanders fleeing violence.”
Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Anne Ruston said the Australian Government was committed to working with states and territories to combat domestic and family violence in these uncertain times.
“I thank Queensland for working with us to ensure funding from our $150 million Domestic Violence Support Package is out on the ground supporting frontline family and domestic violence services to meet demand and have the capacity to transition from face-to-face to other delivery methods where necessary,” Minister Ruston said.
Ms Farmer said the Federal Government’s contingency funding was particularly welcome and would go a long way to supporting our most vulnerable recover from COIVD-19’s perfect storm.
“This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when two levels of Government work together at a national level to get Queenslanders through the worst pandemic in a century” she said.