FIGHTING FUND: $200m to battle domestic violence

Sherele Moody

QUEENSLAND will get four new domestic violence courts but they may not open for 12 months if the State Government budget papers are a guide.

The courts are part of the state's $198.2m response to ending the domestic violence epidemic and supporting victims.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk a short time ago announced the ongoing trial of the Gold Coast specialist domestic and family violence court was proving a success and this meant she was ready to open four more of the facilities.

However, she would not say when the courts would start or where they would be located.

Tuesday's budget papers indicate the staged roll-out is at least a year off.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt  has set aside $7.2m for the courts in 2017-18, a further $13.8m was allocated to 2018-19 and $13.9m will be spent in 2019-20.

About $2.2m will spent in 2016-17 on cultural change development for magistrates and  $4.3m will extend the Gold Coast DV court for another year.

Announcing Tuesday's decision to commit $198.2m over two years to the epidemic, Ms Palaszczuk said the government was determined to hold perpetrators to account, change community attitudes and ensure victims received the support they needed.

"Our specialist domestic violence court has been working well on the Gold Coast," she said.

"We'll be rolling out an additional four across the state -  the exact localities will be determined (soon).

"There has been an increased number of people, especially women, seeking the protection of our court system.

"I want to make sure that the women across the state get the protection that they deserve."

The State Government's 2016-17 domestic violence commitments include:

•             $3.1m for domestic violence  communication and engagement programs.
•             $800,000 to continue an integrated response trial in Logan.
•             $200,000 for home safety upgrades for victims.
•             $1 million for sexual assault services.
•             $2.5m  for high-risk teams to support integrated response services.
•             About $5 million on accommodation for women and children fleeing violence.

Domestic and Family Violence Minister  Shannon Fentiman said the government was determined to meet its obligations put forward by the state-wide domestic violence taskforce  in February, 2015.

"Part of this effort is to ensure we are identifying high-risk perpetrators early and reaching out  to help victims of domestic and family violence as soon as possible," she said.

Last year, at least 79 Australian women were killed as a result of domestic violence and already this year's toll is sitting on 32 deaths.

Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety data shows one in six women is physically abused by their current or former partner and one in four women suffers emotional abuse.

The ANROWS' data reveals one in 19 men experience intimate partner violence and one in seven men are the victims of emotional abuse.

*For 24-hour support, phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or MensLine on 1800 600 636, NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

Topics:  budget queensland budget 2016

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