26 September 2023

Reforms to support victims of violence

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The Government has released its response to the report of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce that shone a light on the experiences of victim-survivors of sexual violence in the criminal justice system.

Following the Hear Her Voice – Report Two – Women and Girls Experiences Across the Criminal Justice System, an additional $225 million is to be allocated over five years to support implementation of its recommendations.

Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk described this as “the next stage of reforms to tackle domestic and family violence”.

“We know that women face barriers when reporting against domestic, family and sexual violence and how these matters are dealt with is not always up to community standards,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We also know the experience in our criminal justice system is different for women than it is for men.”

Attorney-General, Shannon Fentiman said the Government would establish a Victims’ Commission, which was a key recommendation of the Taskforce — “and we will develop a statewide victims’ advocate service, piloted in two locations initially”.

“We will deliver a system where women and girls can safely report harm and seek support through trauma-informed services, and also fund court IT upgrades to make it easier for victims giving video evidence,” Ms Fentiman said.

“We will also progress amendments to move to an affirmative model of consent, which will better reflect community expectations of equality and mutual respect in sexual relationships and drive changes in the way sexual offences are prosecuted and defended.”

She said the reform package built on the work being delivered under Prevent. Support. Believe: Queensland’s Framework to Address Sexual Violence.

The Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce can be accessed at this PS News link and the government response at this link.

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