Taskforce receives over 600 submissions

The Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce has received over 600 submissions as Queenslanders voice their concerns about domestic and family abuse.

Of 400 general submissions analysed by the Taskforce to date, over 40% are from victim/survivors of domestic, family or sexual abuse sharing their own experiences of the criminal justice system.

Chair of the Taskforce, the Hon Margaret McMurdo AC, said the large number of submissions received and their thoughtfulness indicates both the breadth of domestic and family abuse in Queensland and the determination of Queenslanders to stop it.

‘I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to our work so far by taking the time to make these helpful submissions,’ Ms McMurdo said.

‘We have submissions from women of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds and locations which demonstrates that domestic and family abuse is prevalent, insidious and doesn’t discriminate.’

Included in the tally are 81 organisational submissions specifically responding to the Taskforce’s first discussion paper on legislating against coercive control.

‘As expected, we have received a wide range of opinions, including arguments for and against criminalisation of coercive control,’ Ms McMurdo said.

‘What the submissions have in common, though, is a determination to better educate our community about domestic abuse, to keep victim survivors safe, and to make perpetrators accountable.’

The Taskforce is currently analysing these submissions and will publish as many as possible over the coming weeks and months.

‘We will evaluate the feedback from these submissions and our extensive face-to-face, state-wide consultation to develop recommendations that are truly in the best interests of our diverse Queensland community,’ Ms McMurdo said.

The Taskforce will deliver its final report on options for legislating against coercive control and the need for a new offence of “commit domestic violence” to the Government by October 2021.

‘In the meantime, we are continuing face-to-face consultations, with our next regional trip planned to Palm Island and Townsville in August,’ Ms McMurdo said.

The Taskforce’s second discussion paper inviting input about proposed key themes for the Taskforce to explore in more detail about women and girls’ experience across the criminal justice system closed on Friday 30 July.

The Taskforce will release further discussion papers on this second part of its terms of reference later this year, with a final report due to the Government in March 2022.